Pittsburg starts annual tests on fire hydrants - KOAM TV 7

Pittsburg starts annual tests on fire hydrants


Pittsburg residents could see some water changes at home as the fire department tests hydrants.

Over the next three months two man firefighter crews will test every fire hydrant in the city of Pittsburg, more than 1,200 of them.

Fifteen hundred gallons of water push out of an open hydrant each minute.  And firefighters say residents could experience a decrease in pressure, as well as some discoloration, in their water sources at home.

"It's critical for the operations of our water system to work properly," says Brian Blythe, a firefighter for the Pittsburg Fire Department.  "The most common complaints are related to rusty or dirty water with sediment in it, or water that may taste a little unusual."

Pittsburg Fire Chief Mike Simmons suggests residents hold off on washing white clothes in particular when they are in the area flushing the hydrants.

The discoloration is caused by sediment within the water pipes being disturbed due to the large flow of water, once that sediment is flushed out, the fire chief says it could improve your drinking water.

"Flushing these lines, we're flowing these hydrants at full capacity so it's going to keep up any types sediment that are in those pipes," says Chief Simmons.  "It's a good thing, honestly, for our drinking water as well because were keeping those lines nice and clean."

Fire districts in Kansas are required to annually test city owned hydrants.  Results from the test will determine insurance premium rates.

Firefighters says the tests make sure the hydrants are fully operational, but the testing takes time.

"Overall, just be patient with us, this is something that has to be done," says Blythe.

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