I-Team investigates delays in fire hydrant repairs - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

I-Team investigates delays in fire hydrant repairs

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A Channel 4 I-Team investigation found the city's water department is taking months to fix broken fire hydrants, with several hydrants found broken in May still not working today.

Tammy Hodge said she noticed the hydrant in front of her apartment had been knocked over by a car and appeared broken for months.

The Channel 4 I-Team found it took the city 11 months to fix it.

"Something needs to be done about the problem," Hodge said.

Channel 4's examination of repair records of hydrants showed it took the city water department four months to fix a hydrant on Hillcrest Place and three months to fix a hydrant on Thompson Place.

The repair records show in the vast majority of the cases, the hydrants were fixed the next day.

But the I-Team found notable exceptions, including four months to fix a hydrant on Commerce Street and three months to fix a hydrant on 15th Street.

Three hydrants that were reported broken in May are still not repaired.

Sonia Harvat, spokeswoman for Metro water, said their priority system is that any hydrants in front of a school or hospital gets fixed first.

Harvat said in the cases of the long delays, there was a working hydrant near the broken hydrant, so firefighters would have been able to reach with their hoses.

Harvat knows that isn't much comfort to people who live in front of a broken hydrant.

"What do you say to those people, when a hydrant isn't working in front of their house?" asked chief investigative reporter Jeremy Finley.

"That they've got one nearby that does work. And the fire department is very aware of that," Harvat said.

Harvat said when they discover a hydrant isn't working, Metro water alerts the fire department to those hydrants' exact addresses, so firefighters are aware if a fire breaks out nearby.

A spokeswoman for the Nashville Fire Department said there are no notations in fire reports of a broken hydrant causing delays in fighting a fire.

"In a perfect world, all of them would be repaired as soon as possible," Harvat said.

Another problem this year that caused many delays: the bitterly cold winter.

Because Metro water is also charged with repairing broken water mains, repairing those pipes prompted delays in fixing hydrants.

 

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Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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