Costa Rica fire hydrant.
Costa Rica fire hydrant.

The lack of culture in Costa Rica in one that frustrates the work of the Bomberos (firefighters), as people insist on covering fire hydrants with garbage bags and drivers who block access with their parked vehicles. Another problem faced by the Costa Rica’s firefighters is the continuing lack of hydrants.

To that end, a large part of the country’s municipalities are not complying with the installation of hydrants. Or not collecting taxes for their installation or remitting (the taxes) if collected.

According to the directors of the Bomberos, Hector Chaves, being considered is legal action against those municipalities who do not comply with applying the law of 2008 to increase the number of fire hydrants to 12.000, a number Chaves says the country needs to meet basic coverage. Currently there are only half of that.

Chaves says the only two public institutions complying with the Ley de Hidrantes (Hydrants Act) are the Acueductos y Alcantarillados (AyA) – national water and sewer utility – installing 1.374 new hydrants and the Empresa de Servicios Públicos de Heredia, the water and sewer utility in Heredia, with 200 installations.

The law also requires the AyA to provide maintenance of all hydrants.

Of the 29 (of 81) municipalities that have complied with the law, Chaves says they have installed only 339 new hydrants, an amount too low. Chaves added that the 1.509 “Asadas” are doing their part with 645 hydrant installations. Editor’s note, best we could come up with for Asadas is organized communities but not incorporated.

Despite that there still much work needed, Chaves says the law is being met positively.


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