During the next several months, firefighters will implement the annual hydrant inspection and maintenance program throughout the City of Hickory service area. During this process, firefighters and public utilities personnel will be working very close to busy streets while actually flowing water from hydrants. For the safety of all, motorists are encouraged to reduce their speed and exercise extreme caution when recognizing their path of travel will pass nearby hydrants being operated.
"Although firefighters check hydrants for various reasons, the main priority is to ensure that each hydrant is verified for usage in the event of a fire. While flowing each hydrant, firefighters also use instruments to calculate the amount of pressure and available water. This proactive approach is also important in maintaining the city's current fire insurance rating." stated David Cozart, Battalion Chief of Logistics.
"An added benefit of this program is that flushing hydrants helps maintain water quality. However as a consequence of flushing, sometimes this operation causes brief discoloration. If this should occur, call the City of Hickory at 828-323-7500 to flush the main line. After the main line is cleared of discoloration, homeowners should turn on an outside spigot to clear up the water inside the residence. Refrain from using hot water as soon as possible after experiencing discoloration to prevent the Hot Water Heater from getting discolored." stated Shawn Pennell, Assistant Public Services Director-Public Utilities.
Since there are greater than two thousand hydrants located in the city, this process will take several months to complete. Although checking these hydrants will take place on weekdays from 8:00 a.m. till 3:00 p.m., occasionally, firefighters may have to make various checks during weekends and after-hours when it is impractical or not feasible to do so during the weekday.
If residents have questions or concerns, they are encouraged to call the Hickory Fire Department at 828-323-7420 or City of Hickory Public Utilities at 828-323-7427.
Battalion Chief David Cozart