Does your water utility react to hydrant issues or are you proactive in creating a hydrant inspection and maintenance program? If you don't have a system in place already, you're not alone. Unfortunately, water utilities who fall behind in inspecting and maintaining hydrants often find out about the problem when a fire breaks out, costing homes and sometimes lives. Instead of having to play catch-up to poorly maintained hydrants, here's a quick look at how to inspect and maintain your water utility's hydrants.
In most of the United States, dry-barrel hydrants are used due to the risk of damage from freezing. In a few parts of the US where freezing weather is not a concern, wet-barrel hydrants are used that have a shut-off valve located above ground level, so water will remain in the barrel of the hydrant. In dry-barrel hydrants, when an access port is opened, there should be no water located in the hydrant. That's because the shut-off valve is located below ground level and the hydrant is drained or pumped dry after use.
The easiest way to check the hydrant is to insert a string with a weight from the highest port in the hydrant and allow it to pass to the bottom of the hydrant. If the string or weight are wet, the hydrant must be pumped out. After a few minutes after pumping, the hydrant must be re-checked. If there is still water in the hydrant, it is malfunctioning and needs to be repaired or replaced. Other areas to check are to test the ease of putting the valves through the range of motion by checking the seals around the flanges, nozzles, seals and operating nut, which would indicate a need for repairs.
Of course, if your water utility is busy just trying to keep up with the daily grind, there are other options available. Team EJP has a valve and hydrant maintenance service available to help you either get caught up or to stay caught up with your inspection and maintenance program. As part of our program, we'll provide you with experienced personnel who are insured and have all the tools and equipment needed to get the job done. They'll undertake a complete inspection of your hydrants, including any maintenance needed. If it's discovered that you have hydrants that are worn, faulty or inoperative, they can make all necessary repairs or replacements, including installing new hydrants or painting old ones. This helps ensure your hydrants are functioning while reducing your replacement needs from poorly maintained hydrants.
By taking the steps needed to start a hydrant inspection and maintenance schedule, you can ensure that emergency responders in your area can get the water they need to deal with and emergency. Setting up the schedule is only part of the process. Having the parts on hand to take care of any issues that arise can help ensure that your water utility can quickly respond to any repairs that need to happen. If you need help determining what parts, tools and resources may be needed to keep your water utility running smoothly, please feel free to contact Team EJP today to get started. At EJ Prescott, our focus is on keeping your water utility flowing right along.