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Utilities Kingston to Inspect and Rate Hydrants to Support Fire Protection

May 13, 2013 -

Activities May Discolour Tap Water

Starting mid-May Utilities Kingston will begin 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.

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, the port caps and hydrant tops are painted blue, green, orange or red to alert firefighters about how much water flow (in US gallons per minute) is available from each hydrant. 

 "It's important for firefighters to be able to anticipate the water supply available through a hydrant when we arrive at the scene of a fire," says Acting Assistant Chief and Director of Fire Prevention, Paul Patry. "Ensuring that our water supply is trustworthy will help us save lives and protect homes and businesses from fire damage."

Fire hydrant inspection and flow rating will take place Monday to Saturday from 6:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from mind-May until November. Utilities Kingston customers can get more information about the program, including regular updates on progress, by visiting www.utilitieskingston.com/water/HydrantRating

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Media contact: For more information contact Cindie Ashton, Communications Officer for Utilities Kingston at 613-546-4291, extension 3116.