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Fire Hydrant Testing Begins

Gainesville Fire Department personnel will begin testing and flushing more than 2200 fire hydrants over the next couple of months. Fire Chief Jon Canada said while it may appear to waste water, it is an important procedure. “This process is actually part of a routine maintenance program necessary to maintain the integrity of the water system. It's also a requirement of ISO, the organization responsible for surveying a community’s ability to provide adequate water for fire protection,” Canada said.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best, the City of Gainesville is one of only 15 fire departments in Georgia with an ISO rating of Class 2. Lower ISO ratings benefit residential and commercial property owners considerably with regard to insurance premiums.
Gainesville fire personnel inspect and test the hydrants twice a year. Both phases include an inspection for maintenance and/or repair issues, but Phase I testing (in the spring) includes a full flow test to assure adequate water pressure and availability for fire protection. Testing assignments are rotated annually to assure all personnel are given an opportunity to become familiar with the location of each hydrant in the city. In addition, repair and/or replacement needs are documented and forwarded to the attention of the Public Utilities Department.

It is possible that flushing the hydrants may cause discolored water in some areas, so residents are encouraged to let their faucets run for a short period of time to clear the water if discoloration is noticed. If discolored water continues for a period of more than one day, please contact the Public Utilities Department at 770-535-6881.