Fire hydrant testing causes water discoloration


In the meeting, Fire chief Chuck Montero informed the council of the Fire Department’s report and that there is fire hydrant testing going on this month. The Fire Department has to test fire hydrants twice a year and there have been issues in the past with the water pressure from the hydrants.

“It’s not so much of a life safety issue as it is so much a rating issue,” Montero said about the few deficient fire hydrants. “The water is sufficient enough for us to extinguish a fire, but it isn’t the required rating for that area.”

Montero explained that most fires the departments squirt about 200 gallons per minute (g.p.m.) on a fire. If the fire hydrants don’t rate over 800 g.p.m., then they are considered deficient.

“There is plenty enough water for us to fight most fires, but we don’t quite meet what is required.”

Montero also explained that there might be some water discoloration from the hydrant testing. Because the department tests twice a year, it minimizes the discoloration. The discoloration may come particularly while the department is testing the hydrant and a resident runs water. But, Montero said once they are finished there shouldn’t be an issue with water discoloration.

“If they are drawing water at the same time we are doing it in that area, they might have an issue.”

The councilmen were concerned with the discoloration and ensuring the community knows why it is happening and to monitor it.

Charles Brown, councilman of district 4, said, “We don’t want our elderly drinking it. That’s my concern.”

Montero assured the council that once the department has flushed through an area, the discoloration should be gone.