Hattiesburg, Mississippi – On Monday, November 27, 20230, the Hattiesburg Fire Department will begin annual testing for all fire hydrants throughout the City. This is a maintenance requirement set forth by the Mississippi State Rating Bureau that meets the state’s standards for fire protection and assesses the pressure and flow of every hydrant within the City’s purview.
Each station and shift crew will be assigned hydrants in blocks of the City at a time. Fire officials believe that the process will take at least three full weeks, but have scheduled a fourth for any weather or operational delays.
“Testing not only helps us maintain our Class 3 fire rating but allows us to assess any operational and maintenance needs each year,” said Fire Chief Sherrocko Stewart. “We work with both the Water and Sewer Department and the City’s Engineering Department to maintain the integrity of the water lines and fire hydrants,” said Fire Chief Sherrocko Stewart.
The department’s fire rating was upgraded from a 4 to a 3 in the summer of 2020.
Residents in these areas may encounter blocked roads or traffic detours during this time – as well as low water pressure or discolored water. These are typical side effects of hydrants being flushed during testing. Residents who experience loss of service or an elongated time of low pressure or discolored water should call 601-545-4500.
A list of frequently asked questions and a weekly schedule of test sites (updated each Friday) is accessible at https://www.hattiesburgms.com/news-updates/hattiesburgs-annual-fire-hydrant-testing-begins-november-27/. This information will also be accessible on both the City and the Fire Department’s Facebook pages.
The schedule may be adjusted due to call volume and weather but notice to the public will be prioritized.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is my water pressure low?
A: Your water pressure may be low due to the flushing of fire hydrants, which lowers the water pressure in the area that is being tested. This issue will be resolved once flushing is completed.
Q: Why is my water discolored?
A: Water discoloration or turbid water is caused by the stirring of sedimentation in the water main when hydrants are flushed.
Q: What should I do if my residence has discolored water?
A: Run faucets within your home for a few minutes or until the water becomes clear.
Q: If water is discolored, is it safe for consumption?
A: Yes. The discoloration is caused by harmless mineral deposits that settle in the water main and are stirred during the flushing activity.
Q: Is it OK to wash laundry when water is discolored?
A: No. Please run all water inside the home for approximately 15 minutes or until the water clears. You should check water clarity by capturing a sample from the washing machine in a clear glass or container. If water is cloudy or discolored, please do not wash the laundry. If your clothes become discolored due to cloudy water, do not put them in the drier. First, run a cycle of water through your machine and rewash discolored clothes.
Weekly Schedule of Testing Areas
This list will be updated every Friday until complete, with the newest streets added to the top of the list. The schedule may be adjusted due to call volume and weather.
Week of November 27, 2023
This list will be updated by Friday, November 24.
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