By Caslon Hatch
Channel 2 News
6:34 PM AKST, November 30, 2012
In the case of an emergency, fire hydrants need to be ready at any time of the day – especially in the winter, when freezing temperatures can be a real challenge.
Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility operate year-round to ensure that firefighters have access to working hydrants. A crew of 8 inspects more than 7,000 fire hydrants all across the city total inspections over the course of the year.
Despite the chilling temperatures over the last few weeks, inspectors said they haven’t had any problems with frozen hydrants yet, but the lack of snowfall is still a concern.
“If there isn’t snow, the frost goes down deeper and that impacts our hydrants as well as our lines and that could cause frost jacking,” said Chris Kosinski with the Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility.
“Frost forms and the ground freezes, there’s movement in the ground and that movement would cause a frost jacking,” said Kosinski.
Even when there is snow to insulate the hydrants, snow can also bring problems. So, if there is a fire hydrant near your home the AWWU encourages you to shovel a clear 3 foot path around the hydrant so that the fire department and inspectors can access it when needed.
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