Monday, August 18, 2008

Have you seen the "new look" fire hydrants?

Driving around town I've noticed some fire hydrants covered by a green mesh- certainly not the traditional look. So I asked our Fire Chief and DPW Director a couple of questions about this situation and here are their answers.

How many hydrants are involved? Will they be repaired or is this part of the cost reduction program from the last town meeting?

According to Mike Wrabel, Director- Longmeadow DPW …

“There are 43 (of 1120) hydrants out of service. It is intended that they will all be replaced and the bagging is not part of a cost reduction program. The ‘out of service’ hydrants are ‘bagged’ and the Fire Department is notified. As long as the Fire Department knows the hydrant is out of service, they can connect to another hydrant some 400 feet away and not waste time connecting to a hydrant that is non-functional.

Most are very old hydrants that are difficult to obtain parts for. This year’s budget does not have sufficient funds to replace all 43 of the hydrants and we are prioritizing which hydrants we are replacing. We have identified about 350 hydrants that we wish to replace over the next several years at an average cost of about $3,000 per hydrant.”

Are there any risks to property owners where there is a non-functioning hydrant near their home?

According to Eric Madison, Longmeadow Fire Chief ….

“No. There is a greater risk if we have a fire and don’t know a hydrant is out of service. When the hydrant is “bagged” out of service, we quickly identify that and find another hydrant to use. Additionally, the water dept supplies us with a list of all hydrants undergoing repair, and tells us when they are back in service.

In my opinion the water department is doing a superior job identifying issues within our water system, and making repairs. In my opinion the system was neglected for the past 20+ years, and I strongly support the work the water department is now doing. It’s long overdue.”

Puzzled about something that is happening in town....
send us a email to and we will try to get you an answer.

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