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Utilities Kingston to inspect and rate hydrants to support fire protection

May 2, 2017 -

Starting in early May, Utilities Kingston begins its annual fire hydrant inspection and flow-rating program to help support fire protection. Residents may notice discoloured tap water or reduced water pressure. They are assured the water is still safe and 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. We want residents to know that the water is still safe and they are encouraged to flush their pipes until the water is clear," explains Kevin Riley, director of water and wastewater operations for Utilities Kingston.

While all 3,400 hydrants in the municipal water distribution system are inspected each year, 20 per cent of the hydrants are flow rated on an annual basis. This year, that's approximately 850 hydrants in zones five and six (south of Princess Street and east of Gardiners Road to Division Street, excluding south of Johnson Street).

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. 

 "It's important for our firefighters be able to have knowledge of and confidence in the water supply available through a hydrant when we arrive at the scene of a fire," says chief fire prevention officer, Paul Patry. "Ensuring that our water supply is ready and available will help us save lives and protect homes and businesses from fire damage."

The 2017 program employs five summer students, who receive the required skills, training and certification, further developing youth employment in Kingston.

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

www.UtilitiesKingston.com

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Media contact: For more information contact 613-546-4291, ext. 3116.

About Utilities Kingston: Utilities Kingston operates multiple utilities through a single service structure, allowing it to deliver cost savings and customer service excellence. The company is unique in Ontario, combining water, wastewater, gas and electrical services, and broadband fibre optics in one company. Trusted by customers to deliver reliable utilities for more than 150 years, employees are proud to provide personal, responsive services.

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www.UtilitiesKingston.com