If you notice discoloration of your water, or even a reduction in water pressure this week, it may be at a time in which the Portsmouth Fire Department is testing a fire hydrant near you.
From April 18-May 23, the Portsmouth Fire Department will conduct fire hydrant testing in various areas of the city including Sciotoville
During hydrant testing, residents may notice discolored water or air in the lines. This should dissipate a couple of hours after hydrant testing. If discoloration is noticed, it is recommended to refrain from laundry (especially white clothes) until the water clears.
The hydrants are tested each year to ensure they are working properly and also to meet the requirements set forth by ISO, the International Organization of Standardization. The city’s ISO rating directly affects homeowners and businesses insurance rates.
Portsmouth Fire Chief Bill Raison said the city had an ISO review in 2000.
“One of the things that they do is come in and look at our records for hydrant testing, because water supply is a big part of your ISO rating,” Raison said. “We score really well and it’s not just because we test the hydrants. That’s just a small part of it. The credit for capability of the distribution system that we have to to provide the water supply for the city, goes to (City Waterworks Director) Sam Sutherland.”
Raison said putting the system in is one thing, but it has to be maintained to ensure that it is functioning the way it should.
“ISO comes in a checks that to make sure that every year the system is being tested and maintained,” Raison said.
Raison said the other thing that testing of the hydrants does for his department is familiarize personnel where the hydrants are located.
“Some areas have better flow than others and that helps us as well,” Raison said.
Raison said sometimes there is a waterline break and workers isolate the break, fix it, then go back and open up all the isolation valves.
“Once in a while – it doesn’t happen very often – you can have a valve that gets left off, and water gets restored but you don’t have the same pressure that you had in that area before,” Raison said. “We can see that when we go back through and do our annual tests. It may still be flowing water but not to the extent that it did previously.”
He said when they discover the difference in the pressure they can contact the Waterworks department and tell them about it so they can troubleshoot the problem and correct it.
Here is the hydrant testing schedule:
Tuesday, April 18 – All of Sciotoville.
Thursday, April 20 – All of Wheelersburg to Franklin Furnace.
Tuesday, April 25 – All of New Boston, north on Ohio 139 including Eden Park, Rosemount Road, west on Gallia Street to Mabert Road.
Thursday, April 27 – West on Gallia Street from Mabert Road, all areas south of 11th Street to Charles Street and west of Offnere Street.
Tuesday, May 2 – North to the end of Mabert Road, from Gallia Street, including the Wayne Hills area, west from Robinson Avenue, Young Street to Offnere Street, and areas north to Kinney’s Lane.
Thursday, May 4 – South from 11th Street and Offnere Street to Front Street and streets west from Offnere Street to Chillicothe Street.
Tuesday, May 9 – North from 12th Street and Offnere Street to Kinney’s Lane. All streets west to Chillicothe Str3eet, north to the end of Argonne Road. North on Scioto Trail to Coles Boulevard. East on Coles Boulevard to and including Shawnee Road.
Thursday, May 11 – All streets in the south/west end of Portsmouth.
Tuesday, May 16 – All of West Portsmouth including Friendship, north on routes 73/104.
Thursday, May 18 – All of the Rosemount area and north on U.S. 23
Tuesday, May 23 – All high pressure areas.
Flushing will begin at 6 p.m. and will last approximately six to eight hours.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT.