Fire hydrants replaced to maintain water flow

hydrant replacement program
Council staff are replacing more than 100 fire hydrants each year to maintain water flow to the essential firefighting infrastructure.

More than 100 fire hydrants are replaced in the Bundaberg Region every year to maintain water flow to essential firefighting infrastructure.

Council water services reticulation team leader Jacob Dick said the water team identified priority areas with low pressure and flow which are scheduled into the annual hydrant replacement program.

“We then work towards changing the fittings and hydrants and things in the area to get the flow back up to standard,” he said.

“We excavate the fittings, hydrants and valves and come through, cut out the old and put in the new.”

Many of the fittings being pulled from the ground had seen better days.

“Some of the fittings are in poor condition which restricts the flow which comes out of them,” Jacob said.

“Some of them are decades old, like 40 to 50 years old, some even more.”

He said the fire hydrants were a critical part of the region’s overall water infrastructure network.

“Residents can come and hire a metered hydrant from us and they can use them to fill their pools subject to conditions,” he said.

“But mainly for firefighting, if there is a fire in the area the brigade can fill their trucks up from them to help fight fires.”

The team is working towards a similar target achieved last financial year, replacing 270 water main fittings, including 142 hydrants.

The crew also employs technology during the hydrant replacement program, using a pipe inspection camera to discover blockages in the main.

“If there are bends in the ground that we can’t find we will cut out the hydrant closest to that bend and then we will camera up the line to see if the bend is clear or blocked,” Jacob said.

“And then we can locate the bend with the camera and then we can excavate it and replace it as needed.”