Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fire Hydrants in New England

How am I going to interest you in the differences in fire hydrants here in the east compared to "easy living" western "no snow" states? I'm sure you already know the living here is more difficult and costly than the "tropics".

Yesterday as I was leaving work I saw a service truck at the fire hydrant outside the residence hall where I spent the afternoon. The service guy was pumping water out of the open hydrant so I stopped to ask a few questions as I am prone to do. I already knew that hydrants couldn't have water in them in the winter months or they would freeze, split and break apart.

I just didn't know how it worked, so he explained that the actual valve that provides the water is located five and a half feet below the surface where it doesn't freeze. The column of pipe above this valve has to be evacuated of water before winter and after each use in winter to prevent the freezing problem. So there he was pumping the extra water out of the top column in all the hydrants. They make these hydrants "break-away" so if they are inadvertently hit by a vehicle, they just break off at the surface and no water shoots skyward. He even gave me a brochure and parts list so I could scan it for my blog. What a nice guy! I don't think he gets inquisitive people very often.

Now... just because you suffered through the explanation of fire hydrants, here are a couple pictures from my picture window and the roof of the residence hall I work in.

1 comment:

  1. Okay, I guess I have to admit that I was actually interested in the workings of the fire hydrant. Having lived all my life in the "tropics", I am always surprised - and then surprised that I am surprised - at the ingenuity required to live in a frigid climate. The pictures are spectacular! My tiny Rose-Bud tree remains valiantly green in spite of the cold-snap of the past two weeks and my Chinese Pistache are beginning to drop a few leaves - while remaining insipidly green/yellowish.