Did You Know? January 8, 2019 edition

If you live in a region where the temperatures get below freezing, your fire hydrants are more important than ever. We recently received this video about the importance of hydrant maintenance in the winter months. “Gaskill” hydrants were originally installed in Denver in the 1890’s and incorporated a dry barrel draining system to prevent water from freezing inside the pipes connecting to the hydrant.

Now days, water companies uses propane burners when storms are forecast as part of their regular maintenance in cold climates. Most of the 21,000 fire hydrants installed throughout the Denver metro area are yellow and installed along the sidewalk easements. Newer versions of the Gaskill hydrants feature an underground valve to shut off the flow of water in case of a collision by some vehicle. The value shuts the water off and keeps water in the supply pipe, preventing water from spraying in the air a la Hollywood style. I personally hate the idea of water waste in this high mountain desert region and hope storm sewers are able to re-cycle and treat this flushed water and get it back into the non-potable system for watering city parks.

Hydrants are flushed out at dead ends, cup-de-sacs and pressure zone boundaries to ensure water moves regularly throughout the system. By flushing Gaskill hydrants, it allows the water company to collect samples and maintain water quality throughout the distribution system.

Upright and fire fighters are grateful the hydrants are maintained, especially at this time of year. Seems like dogs are grateful for hydrants, too. Even the Ninja.

A little privacy, please.

Have you ever wondered how your fire hydrants worked? Now you have a better idea, at least if your water company uses the Gaskill hydrants.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

35 thoughts on “Did You Know? January 8, 2019 edition

  1. maxwellthedog

    When I saw your story was about hydrants, I was waiting for the “money shot” and sure enough Elsa delivers the goods! Here in SoCal it seems every morning newscast includes an obligatory “driver mows down hydrant, water shoots into troposphere, 8,000 without water for 4 hours, film at 11.”

    Reply
    1. Tails Around the Ranch Post author

      It’s one of those weird things you never stop to think about…until you need it and it doesn’t work.

      Reply
  2. edgar62

    Have no idea what the fire hydrants are but I should imagine there are relatively recent since the city (Adelaide) only came into being about 130 years ago. What causes most of the damage is fractures to the main water pipes and the time it takes them to shut the water off. Apart from water wastage, there is structural damage to the roadway and, depending where the burst is, serious damage to nearby houses, which continues until the water spout is shut off.

    Reply
  3. Sorryless

    When you talk about how Denver went to the Gaskill hydrants at the turn of the 19th century, I think WOW! They were really ahead of the times!

    Reply
    1. Tails Around the Ranch Post author

      I think necessity was the mother of invention. Having them blow up in changeable weather doesn’t keep people safe. Everyone wants to assist fire departments. I think these are prevalent throughout the country, not just in Denver.

      Reply
      1. Sorryless

        No doubt. And I wouldn’t know. My only education when it comes to fire hydrants came when I bought a couple at auction years ago. I bought them for a song and made a great profit. Never did it again though, seeing as how heavy those buggers are!

        Reply
  4. Jan K

    Here on the back roads of the country, we don’t have fire hydrants! I believe they pump water out of local rivers, streams, and lakes when needed. Of course, the more populated areas have them. Poor Luke is missing out I guess (he likes the trees though)!

    Reply
  5. Sandee

    I didn’t know this. Very interesting. Thanks for the public service announcement.

    Have a fabulous day and I turned my head so the pup could have some privacy. ♥

    Reply
    1. Tails Around the Ranch Post author

      That’s the one and only time she ever expressed an interest in a hydrant. Guess she just needed to go badly.

      Reply
  6. Jan

    Interesting post. We almost never have a hard freeze but it’s good to know hydrants are well maintained for purposes other than dog restrooms.

    Reply
    1. Tails Around the Ranch Post author

      Even if a car crashes into them, they won’t act like a geyser as they do in the movies.

      Reply
    1. Tails Around the Ranch Post author

      That’s cool they’re allowing artists to do that. At least Buster won’t have to endure more indignity without his face on the pee bulletin board.

      Reply
    1. Tails Around the Ranch Post author

      Good question. In Sam’s case, it sticks up so everyone must feel compelled to leave a message, much like with trees. Then again, who knows with that Knucklehead?

      Reply

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