Hydrant Maintenance Year Round Effort

Michael Dickey checked the flow of a fire hydrant on Jackson Bluff Road.

Dickey and another technician check 20 to 25 hydrants daily.

"Every once in a while you have a problem, bees in all behind, got to clear them out with bushes and stuff," said Dickey.

"Extremely important," said Tallahassee Underground Utilities Manager Tim Potter. "Emergency situation, we have a fire, fire department hooks up to the hydrant," he said.

Checking those hydrants is a year round job.

There are more than 6500 active hydrants in the city of Tallahassee.

Each hydrant is checked once a year.

"Most of our hydrants in Tallahassee have really, really good flow so everyone here has good fire protection," said Potter.

In addition to routine maintenance checks, 1200 hydrants are sandblasted and painted each year.

The hydrants are color coded on their tops or bonnets to show their pressure.

Blue ones have the highest water pressure at more than 1500 gallons per minute.

There are more than 1200 of them.

Green hydrants have the second highest water pressure.

There are more than 4800.

Orange is the next level.

There are only 465.

All three color codes are considered adequate for firefighting.

"That way when the fire department arrives on scene, they know how many gallons each hydrant will flow," said Potter.

The last color code is red.

It means the hydrant does not have adequate pressure to fight a fire.

A recent report had 33 of them.

But we're told most of them are now working properly or in the process of an upgrade.

City records show about 50 hydrants each year are damaged from problems like car crashes.

An electronic system targets damaged hydrants for repair or replacement within five days.


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