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Winter Park-Maitland Observer
City-wide Hydrant Testing from March through June

Submission Date:  March 11, 2014 

Last week, the Maitland Fire Rescue Department began its annual City-wide fire hydrant testing, with work expected to be completed within two months.  A coordinated effort between the City’s Water and Fire Rescue Departments, fire hydrant testing ensures that hydrants are in full working order and verifies their flow capacity.  Fire department crews evaluate nearly 500 City-owned fire hydrants annually.  Signage will be placed in neighborhoods prior to testing and the day of testing.   

In order to comply with Florida state required testing -- and determine whether the City water system and fire hydrants provide enough water to fight a fire for buildings in all areas of town -- fire department crews must open the hydrants and discharge water at a very high flow rate and volume. 

The testing process determines three pressures produced by each hydrant.  Crews measure static pressure, the water pressure in the mains when water is not flowing; the residual pressure, the water pressure that remains in a hydrant while a second hydrant is flowing water; and flow pressure, the pressure of the water that is flowing from the hydrant.  From these pressure readings the amount of water in an area is determined using mathematical formulas and tables in the guide Recommended Practices for Fire Flow Testing and Marking of Hydrants.   This process allows fire department crews to test approximately 15 hydrants each day.      

While fire hydrant testing is a routine maintenance procedure, it may result in temporary inconveniences.  High flow rate discharge during testing disturbs sediments in the water distribution system.   This often results in brown or rust-colored water. If you experience discolored water during this time, run your faucet for approximately five (5) minutes until the water runs clear.  Hydrant testing also may reduce regular water pressure.  Reduced water pressure should only be intermittent as the hydrants are being tested.  Your regular water pressure will return to normal once the flow testing is complete. 

For additional information or questions, log on to www.itsmymaitland.com or call Fire Administration at 407-539-6226.
 




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