Making sure that the systems in place for public safety are functioning properly is a primary concern of municipal governments. If 911 operators aren’t able to take phone calls or firefighters are unable to access water in an emergency, it can cause a serious issue. Because of this, systems are set in place to test the structures, check for any failures, and schedule repairs as needed. Fire hydrant testing is usually performed once or twice a year for this very reason and any issues can be quickly contained.
Many cities will also perform hydrant flushing once a year or every other year. This helps guarantee that mineral and iron deposits aren’t clogging the city’s distribution pipes underground. This not only helps firefighters but will help improve the quality of local drinking water.
Often, because the flushing stirs up and unclogs iron and minerals, a city’s tap water will turn brown for a short while. Don’t worry, once the hydrants are closed and the flushing is complete, the minerals will begin to settle and the water will quickly return to a clear state.
Maintaining a hydrant should always be done by a professional to make sure working and safety standards are met. They will inspect for leakage in the main valve, check each aspect of the hydrant, and do a small flush to remove any buildup that has settled over time. Also, importantly, an inspector will know how to properly open, lubricate if needed, and safely closed the valves of the hydrant to prevent damage. This will ensure that when the firefighters need to use it, they will not have to make repairs reactively or risk property and lives due to a faulty fire hydrant.
Ensuring proper maintenance of a cities hydrants is not only good for emergency use but can save lives in the long run.