Hydrant flushing concludes

Published 9:56 am Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Water poured into the streets recently when the Ironton Fire Department flushed more than 320 hydrants.

From 8 a.m.-4 p.m. every weekday between April 28 and May 7 hydrants’ plugs were opened strategically from the highway side of the city and moved toward the river side before culminated with the hydrants beyond the Storms Creek floodwall.

There are multiple benefits when hydrants are flushed but only one reason for conducting the process in regard to the IFD.

Email newsletter signup

“We flush the hydrants to ensure they are working properly,” Tom Runyon, IFD chief, said. “We don’t want to show up to a fire and discover a hydrant doesn’t work. Lives and property depend on the hydrants working properly.”

The time it takes to flush hydrants varies, Runyon said. He prefers to run them until the water becomes clear, but that isn’t always the case.

“The purpose is simply to ensure they are functioning,” Runyon said. “We also use the process to detect and correct any problems. If one is out of service, it’s marked and rebuilt.”

The flushing in the past was done overnight, Runyon said, but budget cuts have not only moved the process to regular daytime working hours but for a few years the flushing was cut out altogether.

“The important thing to know is that a hydrant is a piece of fire equipment,” Runyon said. “Cleaning the line is a secondary benefit, making sure it works is the first.”

Last year, Runyon said, 17 hydrants in the City of Ironton were either malfunctioning or inoperable.

This year’s flushing revealed only three that require servicing.