How to Incorporate Hydrant Flushing with Regular Maintenance and Upgrades
With spring in the air, it's time to flush your hydrants. But why not incorporate other tasks in the process as well, such as repairs, maintenance and upgrades, so that your crew only has to be sent to that location one time? Here's a quick look at the process so that you've got everything you need before you head out for this annual task.
- To start, choose a time that works well for your water utility, specifically a time when it will minimize the impact on your other operations. By monitoring your usage and choosing a time when usage is low, you'll also minimize the impact on your system and the number of customer calls you receive about low water pressure or muddy water.
- Consider looking at what maintenance you'll need to perform at the same time. Do the valves need exercising? Should you look at replacing gaskets that are failing? What about replacing that ancient hydrant at the corner of 5th and Main that's always causing problems? By taking care of all of these issues at once, you'll minimize overall downtime and trips to the site by your crew.
- Are you considering upgrades to your system? Whether it's marking the hydrants for their average water pressure, marking out-of-service hydrants or adding hydrant flags to improve visibility and reduce accidents that cost your water utility big bucks, undertaking these tasks at the same time saves future trips.
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- Before you send your crews out, make sure they've got the right tools. At an absolute minimum, your crew will need a solid hydrant wrench that's capable of getting the job done quickly and effectively, instead of trying to make do with a monkey wrench that can actually damage the cap and valve.
- Do you know where that hydrant water will go? When I was growing up, it wasn't uncommon to simply let it run down the street and into the storm sewer, but if you've had a lot of rain lately or if your system is bordering on too low of a capacity to effectively remove that amount of water, you may want to consider exactly where you'll route that water to ensure it's not causing further problems.
- Ready to go? Make a route that makes sense to your crew and customers. Take a few minutes to try to finish one leg of your system to reduce the number of times your customers are inconvenienced. Make sure to take the time to properly flush the system, which will allow dirt and debris that has built up to exit the system.
- All done? Make notes on any hydrants that need additional repairs or maintenance and get back to the office. Take a few minutes with your crew to check if anyone has ideas on how to do a better job next year or any aspects that worked particularly well. Order any replacement parts or tools that you'll need for the future.
By taking the time to properly flush your hydrants while undertaking repairs and upgrades, you'll be able to get the entire job done quickly and effectively, getting your crew in place to continue with their regular tasks. If you need help finding the right tools or upgrades for your water utility's hydrant flushing needs, New Concept Tools is standing by to help. Please feel free to contact us today to get started.