IRWD Co-sponsored New Law Preserving Hydrant System Funding by Irvine Ranch Water District Oct 21, 2020 Member Submitted News When a fire breaks out in a home or office building, who pays for the water used by firefighters to douse the flames? A new law, co-sponsored by Irvine Ranch Water District and the San Diego County Water Authority, reaffirms existing law and longstanding policy that these water costs are properly included in the property-related water service charges paid by residents and businesses. State Senator John M.W. Moorlach (R-Irvine) authored the new law, SB 1386, in response to what he called more than 80 “nuisance” lawsuits filed against cities and water agencies. The lawsuits allege that water costs for fighting fires should not be covered by services fees, but should instead be paid by the fire agencies using the water. The Legislature disagreed and passed SB 1386 without a single “no” vote. The governor signed the bill into law in September. IRWD Government Relations Officer and Deputy General Counsel Christine Compton said the law confirms the longstanding and nearly universal view that water service changes should cover the costs. “This law validates that water agency costs associated with operating and maintaining a system of hydrants – in addition to the water that flows through them – are part of the property-related water services it provides its customers,” she said. The measure was supported broadly by water agencies and associations, fire departments and cities throughout the state.