OAK HILL — The Madison-Jefferson Joint Fire District in conjunction with the Village of Oak Hill are going to be inspecting and flow testing fire hydrants. As a result, residents in Oak Hill and business owners may experience changes in water pressure.

Oak Hill Fire Chief Brian Gaines is announceing that during the month of November between the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weather permitting days, the Madison-Jefferson Joint Fire District will be inspecting fire hydrants in the community.

“Fire District and Oak Hill Village personnel will be out inspecting and flow testing fire hydrants until all of the 90 plus hydrants are inspected,” explained Gaines. “The inspection involves removing all caps and lubricating the threads as well as flowing water to ensure that each hydrant is operating properly.”

Gaines said, “All fire hydrants in the community are known as dry barrel hydrants, meaning that there is no water in the barrel of the hydrant until the hydrant is opened. This helps ensure that the hydrants will not freeze in cold weather and will therefore be available when needed for a fire. After every use and inspection, the hydrants are closed and the water drains out. Hydrants that do not drain properly, or with other problems, are reported to the Village of Oak Hill Water Board for further maintenance.”

This annual testing is essential to maintain the community’s (5) Insurance Services Office (ISO) Public Protection Classification, and to ensure that hydrants are operating efficiently for fire protection purposes.

“Along with maintaining the fire rating, the testing monitors the health of the village’s water system, identifies weak areas in the system, removes materials that settle in the hydrant, and cleans out the lines,” stated Gaines. “Checking each hydrant also improves crew knowledge of hydrant locations.”

Gaines added, “Fire district personnel will check to make sure there is adequate clearance around all fire hydrants, and property owners should clear weeds and brush from blocked hydrants to aid in their easy identification and access.”

During hydrant inspections, residents might experience temporarily low water pressure or discolored (rusty) water. The discoloration of water will not harm an individual, although it may stain light colored clothing. The fire district advises that you run your faucets until you have clean water. Do not run your hot water or do laundry until your water is clear.

If any residents or business owners have any questions, or should you at any time notice a hydrant in need of repair, contact the Village of Oak Hill at 740-682-6301.

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