RENO — Throughout the next several months, within the city of Reno and unincorporated areas of the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District, the Reno Fire Department (RFD) will be testing fire hydrants that are located south of the Truckee River.
Testing often results in temporary clouding of nearby residential and commercial water supplies for a short period of time. When testing occurs, debris in water mains can be stirred up, including pieces of scale, gravel and other materials, much of which is blown out during high pressure water flows through fire hydrants. If residents find water discolored or cloudy, they should not drink it until it clears up. Running the cold water tap usually decreases the time it takes to clear the cloudiness. To avoid the possibility of discoloring clothing, it is also recommended to not do laundry until the water is clear.
In addition to determining fire flows, periodic testing of fire hydrants is necessary to determine their capabilities in an emergency and can uncover mechanical problems from valves that do not properly operate to leaks and even debris in the system that can damage pumps on fire engines. The water flow test information is valuable in helping water planners and fire prevention personnel in accurately estimating capabilities of water mains that sometimes can be affected by maintenance activities, accidental damage, malfunction and changes in the system.
There are about 15,000 fire hydrants in the city of Reno and within the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District, including 9,000 in the city of Reno alone.
For more information about the fire hydrant testing program, contact the RFD’s Division of Fire Prevention at 334-2300.