Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Fire Hydrant Inspection Program Begins

Fire hydrant inspections, preventive maintenance and flushing has begun! City crews and contractors will inspect, operate and flush the hydrants for 15-30 minutes beginning downtown, southwest of Chippenham Parkway, West Broad Street, and the East End. The work will then proceed through the rest of the system until all 6,000 plus hydrants have been inspected.

This program ensures that the city's fire hydrants and associated valves are in proper working order, minimizing replacement costs and reducing risks.

Fire hydrants are an important part of our water distribution system's infrastructure and serve a critical role in public safety by providing water for fire emergencies. This inspection program ensures hydrants are kept in proper working order and geographic information system (GIS) records are current.

Inspection Times
Inspections occur during normal working hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Public Impact
Customers may notice water in the street and surrounding areas during flush times. Crews will utilize diffusers with dechlorination, safety cones, and traffic control to minimize disruption and maintain public safety.

If hydrants are being inspected in your area, you may notice a slight change in water pressure, air in the water pipes, some temporary water discoloration or sediment. If crews are working in your area, run water from an outside tap or basement spigot for a short time to counter any of these temporary effects.

You will not experience an interruption of service. Your water remains safe to drink. Any temporary water quality issues caused by hydrant inspections are aesthetic (visual) and can be relieved by running faucets or spigots for a few minutes.

The work should not have significant impacts on traffic or parking. If it does, prior notification will be provided. Each hydrant inspection takes 15-30 minutes.

This routine maintenance is not related to water main or service line replacement programs. 

Issues and Safety
Hydrants found to be non-operational will get a visible "Out of Service" ring placed on the nozzle, saving valuable time for firefighters to access the next closest hydrant. DPU Operations will immediately notify the Fire Department of the out of service hydrant and repair or replacement will be scheduled as quickly as possible.

DPU and contractor crews are trained in safety practices and will wear protective equipment during this work. To ensure public safety, temporary cones, barricades and other traffic control procedures may be used.

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