When it comes to extinguishing fires, one second could mean the difference between life and death. To ensure the best possible outcome when responding to fires, the City of Collins Fire Department is dedicating the next two months to flow testing and performing maintenance on all fire hydrants in the city limits.
“The safety of our citizens and their property is everything to us,” said Fire Chief John Pope III, who’s supervising the hydrant testing. “Testing of the hydrants is done to ensure that all hydrants are operating properly and repainting ensures that they are visible to fire officials during fire responses. The annual testing is also required in order for the city to maintain its Class 5 Fire Rating. This rating helps keep home and commercial insurance premiums and rates low for residents and business owners.”
The testing began June 6 and is expected to last through August. During the testing periods, residents may notice a slight discoloration in their water or low water pressure while hydrants are being tested in their neighborhoods. Pope said this is normal and should not cause concern.
“Normally, we have complaints about the water being discolored. There is no need to be alarmed. The best way to solve that is to run water in a bathtub or sink for a few minutes until it clears up,” he said.
According to the fire department, testing times will take place between 9 a.m. and 12 noon. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
“We have 200+ hydrants in the city. This is something we’ll be doing along with our other duties,” said Pope.  He also said that testing will take place depending on daily weather and other job duties.
Pope also explained the color code for hydrants throughout the city. The colors represent the measure of water flow the hydrant is capable of. For instance, blue means that hydrant gives off the greatest flow and red means it gives the least. Green and orange hydrants are in the middle of that scale.
We also use a very visible reflective paint coating for the barrels of the hydrants, which aids in helping the firefighters in locating the hydrants quickly during response calls.
Pope said these are all measures that are required to keep residents and local businesses safe in the event of a fire.
Anyone with questions regarding the ongoing hydrant testing can contact Fire Chief John Pope at (601) 765-5110. The department appreciates the communities understanding & cooperation during the testing period.