HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - If you live near a fire hydrant, you’ve probably seen the Hattiesburg Fire Department opening them up lately.
That is because the department is currently doing its routine fire hydrant testing.
“We are looking for any mechanical issues the hydrant may have,” said HFD Assistant Chief Danny Wade. “We are checking to make sure they come on and are easily turned on and off. We are looking at the pipe threads that are on them so that our hoses can hook on them. All this helps us do is it helps us out on any fire related emergency.”
This is done once a year. Firefighters first open the hydrants and “flush” them out. This allows anything that may be built up inside the hydrant to clean out. They then start collecting information to make sure the hydrant is in working order.
“We want to know how many gallons per minute of water that comes out,” Wade said. “We want to know all the pressures on them. This effects how much water is coming out so that we can put out a fire. We also have to have them reports to send to the State Fire Marshalls office."
People who live in areas close to fire hydrants could experience low water pressure and discolored water during this process. Fire officials say the discoloration is most likely due to sediment build up and that the water is still safe to use.
"It is fine to use, just let it run for a few minutes. You might want to take extra precautions when you're washing clothes in your washing machine,” said Wade.
The testing is expected to be finished by the end of May.