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How do you know if the hydrants in your community are working? | News

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How do you know if the hydrants in your community are working?
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STONE MOUNTAIN, GA (WXIA) -- Fire hydrants in your neighborhood working properly? It's something you might not think about, until there's a fire.

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That's what happened on Wednesday in DeKalb County.

Firefighters were called to a Stone Mountain house fire, only to discover the hydrants in the area were not working. Officials said the hydrant was fixed by Thursday afternoon, and color-coded as part of a new initiative with local watershed management officials.

When firefighters arrived at the Parkwest Lane home, the fire was extinguished using the 500 gallon water supply tank on board the fire engine. The fire hydrant, just 50 feet away, was marked as inoperable.

"We typically use our tank water to fight a fire anyway," said DeKalb Fire's Capt. Eric Jackson. "The great thing about it is the firefighters were able to react quickly and extinguish the fire."

Jackson says it does happen that firefighters get to a location and the hydrants aren't working -- but as part of a new initiative, all 23,000 hydrants in the county are undergoing inspections.

Every hydrant will be color coded -- the tops painted, depending on the gallons per minute of water flow. The colors range from red being the slowest and increase to green, blue and gold being the fastest.

"It's going to help with our firefighter tactics and strategy for the firefighters to know where these hydrants are and what their G-P-M flow is," Jackson said.

If a hydrant isn't working, it's up to crews from watershed management to get it fixed.

"We could check a hydrant in normal schedule last year and it no be working today for any number of reasons," Jackson said.

Recruits are handling the inspections as part of their training. It's expected to take anywhere from 12 to 18 months before all hydrants in the county are inspected.

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