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The Value of Fire Flow Testing Hydrants

Regular hydrant testing is a significant component of a utility’s water supply program. Water systems are constantly being impacted by improvements, deterioration, changes in usage, and even water district maintenance activities which may affect zone valve settings. As a result, it is important to periodically test all fire hydrants to determine what their capabilities would be in an emergency.

How often do I perform Fire Flow Tests on hydrants?

  • AWWA recommends flow testing all areas at least every 10 years. (AWWA M17).
  • NFPA requires flow testing of underground and exposed piping at least once every 5 years (NFPA 25, 7.3.1, 2008).

In addition to determining fire flows, testing can uncover a number of mechanical problems from valves that don’t operate properly to leaks and even pump damaging debris flowing from hydrants. It is imperative to discover problems and get them repaired before the hydrant is needed in an emergency.

Water main and hydrant flow capabilities impact decisions as to what fire protection and fire resistance features are required for new developments and where priorities should be placed with respect to upgrading older, smaller water mains. Wachs Water Services field crews perform a mechanical test, pressure test, and flow test with every fire hydrant on a recurring basis to ensure fire hydrant flow problems are regularly identified and corrected.

Our highly trained hydrant management crews identify the exact fire hydrant flow rates that enable Fire Department personnel to instantly identify the gallons-per-minute output of each fire hydrant in emergency situations.

For more information on how Wachs Water Services can help your utility and the community you serve be sure you are prepared for an emergency, contact our hydrant assessment specialists at 800-525-5821;

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