Beginning this week, Hattiesburg residents can expect to see a little work being done on fire hydrants as the Hattiesburg Fire Department begins its annual testing on all hydrants across the city.
The work, which is being done in accordance with requirements by the Mississippi State Rating Bureau, is expected to last approximately four weeks or until completion. The testing assesses the pressure and flow of hydrants to ensure they are in proper working condition.
“For us to hold our Class 3 fire rating with the Mississippi State Rating Bureau, it’s a requirement each year that we test every hydrant in the city,” said Samantha McCain, chief communications officer for the city. “Annually, we gather up a big list, and we attack that week by week.”
During the course of the hydrant testing, residents may experience blocked roads or traffic detours as well as low water pressure or discolored water.
“Now, (low water pressure and discolored water) are only typical for a short amount of time,” McCain said. “If residents experience both of those things for an elongated period of time, then we want them to call us as soon as possible so we can remedy the situation as needed. They can call the Action Line at (601) 545-4500.”
McCain said discolored water is safe for consumption as the discoloration is caused by harmless mineral deposits that settle in the water main and are stirred during the testing process. However, residents should not wash laundry with discolored water.
“They need to run the water for approximately 15 minutes or so, until the water clears,” McCain said. “If they run it after that 15 minutes and it is not running clear, they definitely need to give us a call so we can get our water crews out there to figure out what’s going on.”
A list of frequently asked questions and a weekly schedule of test sites – which is updated every Friday – can be found online at https://bit.ly/3lIDslN. That information also will be available on Facebook pages of the city and the fire department.