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Phoenix has 709 fire hydrants that don't work and 2,000 that need fixed, replaced

Published: Monday, November 29, 2021 - 5:05am
Updated: Monday, November 29, 2021 - 7:26am
Christina Estes/KJZZ
As of September 2001, Phoenix had 709 non-working fire hydrants across the city.

As of September, Phoenix had 709 fire hydrants that didn’t work and another 2,000 that needed repaired or replaced.

Executive Assistant Fire Chief Scott Walker told a city subcommittee that when crews respond to calls, they assume the nearest fire hydrant is working. If their 1,000-foot hose cannot reach a functioning hydrant, they must come up with another plan.

“A different apparatus may need to secure a water supply from a different direction, we may need to use multiple fire trucks to what we call ‘daisy chain’ that’s several trucks connecting their supply lines in order to get their water supply to the fire incident,” he said. “And with today’s synthetic materials and combustibles causing fires to double in size every sixty seconds, any delay to that fire attack will increase the risk to any potential victim and to our firefighters.

The Water Services Department said if the current pace continues, city crews will be able to clear a backlog of nearly 1,700 repairs within a year but cannot keep up with replacements. The department wants to hire a private contractor to replace 1,019 hydrants in a year at a cost of $3.4 million. The City Council must still approve the contract.

After catching up on backlog work orders, the department said it will repair and replace hydrants within a month of receiving work orders. It also has a goal to perform preventative maintenance work on each hydrant annually.  Phoenix has 55,143 hydrants across the city.

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