Did you know... there are over 1500 fire hydrants in the city?
The Fire Department is dependent on a reliable supply of water to complete its mission of fire suppression, and works closely with the Public Works Department to maintain all 1582 hydrants (a number that is growing as more land is developed).
The Fire Department uses two testing programs to evaluate the performance and effectiveness of the water system for its use:
- The hydrant-flushing program tests the operation of each and every fire hydrant in the City annually.
- The flow-testing program that shows exactly how many gallons per minute, at various pressures, are being delivered in a particular area. The testing is required by the Insurance Service Office (ISO) and must be completed at least once a year in order to maintain our ISO rating which directly affects insurance premiums. The Park Ridge ISO rating of Class 3 (on a scale of 10, with 1 being the best), places Park Ridge among the top 3% of more than 45,000 fire departments and fire protecton districts across the United States.
The testing process
The testing process involves flowing water from each hydrant in the City. As a result, sediment is stirred in the water mains and may cause discolored water to flow into the homes and businesses of Park Ridge. Although the sediment may give tap water an unpleasant appearance, it is not harmful and can be cleared simply by allowing the faucet to run until the water clears.
The hydrant tests are conducted within geographical zones of approximately 16 square blocks. Once testing within a zone is completed (usually within one week), there should be no further problems with water discoloration.
The Fire Department makes an effort to contact every resident and business by using the Code Red Notification System when the testing is scheduled to be conducted. However, circumstances may cause multiple notifications before the testing is actually completed. Such circumstances would include calls for emergency service, Water Department restrictions, or the overlapping of notification zones. Residents are asked to be patient.