Brownsville Residents Concerned About Faulty Fire Hydrants

4 years 2 months 1 week ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 April 19, 2018 6:10 PM April 19, 2018 in News

BROWNSVILLE – Residents said nearly two dozen fire hydrants around the city of Brownsville need to be repaired.

They said living near those faulty fire hydrants has them on edge.

Maria Guadalupe Fikir told CHANNEL 5 NEWS on Thursday it's not the first time she notices the fire hydrant across the street from her home are leaking water.

According to Brownsville Interim Fire Chief Jarrett Sheldon, this is one of the signs that a fire hydrant isn't working properly.

Fikir said it shouldn't be happening.

"It worries me," she said. "Can you imagine if there's ever an emergency and it's needed, and there's no water?"

She said residents do their part by paying their property taxes and should feel safe at home.

"We pay way too much in taxes for things that are extremely necessary, to not be working," Fikir said.

Brownsville Public Utilities Board Communications Manager Alicia Warner told us they maintain the hydrants.

She said, right now, there are at least 20 around town that are not in compliance.

"That is something that you always (keep) top-of-mind, especially if you are working fire suppression. We understand that," Warner said. "That is a life safety issue right there. So definitely, that's why we have one crew dedicated to that."

Warner said BPUB has a fire hydrant crew that goes around town year-round and making inspections and repairs as needed to the 5,000 hydrants.

She said when one is found to be faulty, it could take up to two weeks to fix.

"If you have to replace a fire hydrant, you need to work on the valves, make sure everything is operational underground as well as above ground," she said.

Sheldon wants residents to know they are safe. He said when there is a structure fire, as per protocol, three fire trucks are dispatched.

"Each fire truck averages about 1,000 gallons of water, so we have 3,000 gallons right off the bat," Sheldon said. "Usually, our second arriving truck will locate the fire hydrant. If the need is there, we'll connect to it. If that hydrant isn't operable, we do carry enough hose to get to that next hydrant."

Sheldon added a mapping system provided by BPUB keeps them in the know about which hydrants are working, which ones are not, and how much water pressure they will be working with.

Fikir said that gives her some comfort. However, she still wants this potential life-saver fixed.

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