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Starting this week, the City of Fountain Water and Fire Departments will begin a…

Starting this week, the City of Fountain Water and Fire Departments will begin a comprehensive conditions assessment of approximately one-thousand fire hydrants within city limits. Waterway LLC, was hired by the City to merge the assessment requirements of both departments into one collaboration, saving rate-and-tax payers thousands of dollars. In addition to confirming that each hydrant operates correctly, the testing is essential to maintain the City’s Public Protection Classification issued by the Insurance Services Office(ISO). The ISO provides a fire protection rating schedule that helps insurer’s assess their risk for the purpose of issuing property and casualty insurance, ultimately affecting insurance premiums for most businesses and homeowners.

The rating considers three fundamental elements of fire protection (dispatch, fire department and water supply) and ranges on a scale of 1-10; a rating of “10” indicates no fire protection, and a rating of “1” indicates the best fire rating. The City of Fountain currently holds a community fire protection rating of 3 and plans to improve the classification to level 2 within the next few years. "We depend on the fire hydrants when a fire occurs. A quality assurance program for hydrant testing will result in a safer community for our residents," said Fire Chief James Maxon.

The comprehensive assessment will identify water pressure, flow rate and the physical state of each hydrant and its valves. The bonnet of each hydrant will be painted in accordance with its respective gallon-per-minute (GPM) flow rate: blue (1,500<+); green (1,000-1,499); orange (500-999); and, red (>500). Residents, businesses and visitors can expect to see these assessments occur over the next four weeks, weather dependent. Waterways of New Mexico, LLC, will begin work on the north end of the city limits and gradually move south.

The data gathered will be kept in the City’s asset management software, Beehive. This data will ultimately aid in day-to-day operations, plans for water distribution system improvements and community-wide fire protection.

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