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Replacing fire hydrants to maintain water flow

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

Bundaberg Regional Council (BRC) Water Services Reticulation team leader Jacob Dick said the water team identified priority areas with low pressure and flow and scheduled these into its 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 have seen better days.

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

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

This story was first published on Bundaberg Now. Read the original.

Bundaberg Regional Council is a proud supporter and principal partner of National Water Week. Find out more here.