Utilities Kingston to inspect and rate hydrants to support fire protection

May 02, 2018

Utilities Kingston to inspect and rate hydrants to support fire protection

Utilities Kingston has begun its annual fire hydrant inspection and flow-rating program to help support fire protection. During this work, residents may notice discoloured tap water or reduced water pressure and should be assured the water is still safe. They should run their cold water tap until it is clear.

Flow-rating requires that we open the hydrant to maximum flow. This can reduce water pressure and disturb deposits that normally occur in water mains, possibly discolouring the water that services neighbouring homes and businesses. Residents should know that the water is still safe and they are encouraged to flush their pipes until the water is clear.

All 3,400 hydrants in the municipal water distribution system are inspected each year and 20 per cent of the hydrants are flow-rated on an annual basis. This year, that’s approximately 555 hydrants in Zone Four (with borders east of Coronation Boulevard, Bayridge Drive to the west, and Creekford Road to the south). Approximately 125 newly installed hydrants will be flow-rated across the city.

As part of this program, licensed water distribution operators from Utilities Kingston will inspect mechanical parts for proper operation, assess the overall condition of fire hydrants, and flush and flow-rate hydrants. Once the hydrants are rated, they are marked blue, green, orange or red to let firefighters know the flow rate, in US gallons per minute.  Operators use mobile applications on tablets to collect and manage accurate fire hydrant data while in the field. 

Fire Inspector, Tracey LeBlanc says, “Ensuring that Kingston’s hydrant water supply is sufficient and available for suppression activities is essential for our firefighters to confidently save lives and protect properties from fire damage.”

Neat to know:

  • The 2018 program employs four summer students, who receive the required skills, training and certification, further developing youth employment in Kingston.
  • Automated field data collection for the fire hydrant inspection program using the location-based application Collector for ArcGIS reduces paperwork and increases productivity by digitizing processes.

Fire hydrant inspection and flow-rating will take place Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until September. Utilities Kingston customers can get more information about the program by visiting UtilitieskKingston.com/HydrantRating