There are over 15,000 fire hydrants in the City of Hamilton. Each year the City performs maintenance on approximately 5,000 hydrants, completing all hydrants on a 3 year cycle. Part of this maintenance is to improve the fire flows in older watermains and ensure that all hydrants are in compliance with the Fire Code. This helps to ensure that there is enough water flow to fight fires and helps to protect your neighbourhood in case of an emergency.
Frequently Asked Questions
A City contractor will show up in your neighbourhood and post signs on the street about the work being done. You can generally expect 1 truck and a 2 person crew. The process involves flushing water from between 2 fire hydrants. A large hose will be hooked up to one of the fire hydrants. The hose will have a diffuser on the end and will run down the side of the street toward the catch basin. During the flushing you will notice a lot of water on the road, but it will be controlled and kept to the side as seen in the photo. There will not be any excessive noise, only that of flowing water. This process will be repeated for every hydrant on the street.
Hydrants are flushed in pairs, from one to the other. The hydrant needs to be flushed for a minimum of 10 minutes as per the regulation.
During this maintenance, nearby properties may experience temporary discolored water. The temporary discoloured water is normal during hydrant flushing and is not a water quality issue. To eliminate discoloured water, once the work is completed, you should go to a basement sink or laundry tub and run the COLD water tap for 5 to 10 minutes until the water runs clear. DO NOT use the hot water during this time as it can pull the discoloured water into your hot water tank.
Wards 1 through 5 are scheduled to be completed this year, along with some outlying areas. We are trying to complete the work as quickly as possible, but there are many factors that can affect the schedule. Please continue to check this website for the most up-to-date information.
Fire hydrants in Hamilton are painted every 3 – 5 years. Painting takes place between the months of May and November each year.
- Hydrants are primed and will stay white for a few days to dry before being given their new red coat.
- Reflective flow tags are added to the hydrants to denote how much water flow is available and increase visibility.
Painting fire hydrants is an important part of keeping our communities safe.