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Why do firefighters turn on fire hydrants and flow water from them when there is no fire?

WFD-Pictures-73aThe Wilkesboro Fire Department's semi-annual fire hydrant testing takes place from March 1 to November 15. During this time, all City hydrants are tested to ensure they are operable and able to produce the required water pressure when needed. Pressure readings are taken during testing to determine the amount of water available from the hydrant.  Also, testing can sometimes cause a temporary discoloration of water and loss of pressure in nearby homes.  The discoloration is not harmful in any way and can be cleared up by running the water for a few minutes.  Because testing must be done during normal operating hours, it will be impossible to know in advance where or when the testing will take place in any specific area.  We do apologize for any inconvenience however, testing is necessary.

If you see a hydrant that is out of service or seems to be experiencing problems, please contact the Town of Wilkesboro Town Hall at 336-838-3951 between 8 AM to 5 PM and Wilkesboro Police Department Communications Center at 336-667-7277 after hours.  The Fire Department tests hydrants, but does not perform maintenance on them.

Hydrant testing not only ensures the protection of Wilkesboro's residents, it also is an evaluation indicator used by the Insurance Services Office (ISO), which rates cities according to the fire protection they offer. The ISO rating resulted in the elevation of the Wilkesboro Fire Department to a Class 5 protection rating.