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 3,500 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 476 hydrants in Zone Eight (east of Bayridge Dr., west of Gardiners Rd., south of Princess St. and north of Point Cres.) and Zone Four (east of Coronation Blvd., Bayridge Dr. to the west, and Creekford Rd. to the south) as well as approximately 100 newly installed hydrants 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 2019 program employs three 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 October. Utilities Kingston customers can get more information about the program by visiting UtilitieskKingston.com/HydrantRating.