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      In Case of Fire: Officials hoping to improve water access in rural areas

      Edinburg Fire Department

      The Edinburg fire chief along with a state representative are pushing to pass a bill that will help protect homes from fires in rural areas.

      The bill is said to encourage water supply corporations to improve firefighters access to hydrants.

      In the state of Texas, a hydrant is considered non-working if it pumps less than 250 gallons per minute.

      If a hydrant is not up to standards, it must be painted black indicating it TMs not working or the water corporation is liable in the case of a fire.

      City water supply companies are protected from liability.

      State Rep. Terry Canales of Edinburg want to extend protection to private corporations.

      Many water corporations painted several hydrants black to avoid getting sued, which means local fire departments have minimal access to working hydrants.

      Canales and Edinburg Fire Chief Shawn Snider went to Austin on Monday to advocate for the bill.

      In Hidalgo County, the access to water during a fire in rural areas has been worsened by current law, especially in colonias.

      Officials are working at a state and local level to improve access to water in case of a fire.

      At the beginning of the month, Hidalgo County commissioners approved a requirement to help fight fires in rural areas.

      Developers are now required to provide filling stations in new sub-divisions.

      Officials are especially concerned about access to water in colonias.

      The county is currently installing filling stations in two subdivisions and is working with other water companies to implement the new requirement.