Local News

Residents Question Flowing Fire Hydrants in Time of Drought

Posted October 17, 2007

— Gov. Mike Easley said he wants every citizen to try to save at least one gallon of water a day, but some local residents said they have seen gallons of water pouring out of fire hydrants in the area.

Brent Nelson passes by a fire hydrant just outside of Wendell every day on his way to work. He sees the water flow freely out of it.

“Hey, if everyone else is conserving, why can't we do something different with this stuff?” he asked.

That was back in July. Nelson called Johnston County to complain and was told they were flushing the system.

Howard Mills, with the Johnston County Water Authority, estimated that about five gallons of water ran out of the hydrant per minute. Mills said the county had to open some of the hydrants to help meet state water quality guidelines.

He said that in normal times, it's a common practice used to keep water lines clean. Residents say things aren't normal because of the drought, however.

“There could be better uses for it than just running it into the ground here,” Nelson said.

After WRAL put in calls to Johnston County, officials said the plan was to have all hydrants off by Wednesday. At last check, the hydrant that was flowing earlier in the day had been closed.

32 Comments

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  • Grubar Oct 18, 2007

    Ok 1st off.. 33 oz. bottle in 10 secs..
    1oz=29.57mL 33oz. = 975.81 mL in 10secs... x 6 (to bring total to a minute.) = 5854.86mL/min or 5.85486 L/min. There are 3.785 Liters in 1 Gal of water.. so actually this is a rate of approx. 1.5 Gallons/Minute.

    Secondly Chlorine Residuals diminish over time. that is why you have to add chlorine to a swimming pool. The end of a line is just like a swimming pool let it sit dont add chlorine and err.. you going to drink that? Flushing is a common practice in every water system.. if a system doesnt then either they have no dead ends or they have really bad water.. go ahead look it up. In order to provide people with safe clean drinking water, certain things have to be done in the system, dont complain if you see them flushing the system, be proud that they are monitoring chlorine residuals and are trying to ensure the water you have to drink is safe and clean.

  • Capt Mercury Oct 18, 2007

    Hmmm. So they need to run water from the hydrants to be sure they pass Federal water quality standards, huh? My guess is, the water is bad on a normal day (when they don't treat it properly to cut costs) and when the day comes for the test they have to let all the bad water out and all the treated water in. Just my $0.02 worth.

  • jasonicholas2 Oct 18, 2007

    I have an idea: instead of whining and moaning on here, do something about it; call your town/city managers, better yet go to them and tell them how ridiculous it is for people to still be obeying the law and using water; it is not a crime until it is banned... "GEEZ"

  • justjean Oct 18, 2007

    You know what? You can drive around in a car with etched water spots on it, and no body will care. Geez people, when did our paint jobs become more important than basic survival? Get real...it's a stinking car, not a cure for cancer.

  • Adelinthe Oct 18, 2007

    HEY!!! What's that coming from the sky in Cary? Looks wet and drippy. Might be rain, but not sure. Been so long since I've seen it, ya know. Maybe it's from a plane's potty (think I'll stay indoors for lunch).

    gigglegigglesnortsnot

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • Adelinthe Oct 18, 2007

    I understand they have to check the systems to make sure they're working properly. If the hydrant was near your home and your home caught fire, you'd want it to work too. But I do wonder why they can't catch that water with their tanker trucks and put it to good use somewhere - for farmer's fields or to water livestock???

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • Adelinthe Oct 18, 2007

    "in response, i say i will continue to wash my car until the apartment complex stop watering my truck every other night. I refuse to shell out big bucks for a new paint job next year because of recycled water spots etched into my paint. you can opnly wipe the water off so many times before the truck gets so dirty that you must wash. so, apartment complexes, STOP watering your brown grass so I can stop washing my truck once per week because of your lack on conservation."

    I'd probably park somewhere else, slightly away from the grey water spewing sprinklers, but often there's no other choice because of assigned parking.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • question_why Oct 18, 2007

    I hear people giving the residents of Cary a hard time but there are things that don't seem to be getting said.

    Cary residents have lived several years with permanent water restrictions. Granted these restrictions are because Cary's water treatment center can not treat enough water but these permanent restrictions have lessened the effect on Cary's water supply.

    Cary has stated that it currently has enough water for 200 days but is going to stop outdoor watering on Nov 1.

    A large reason for the Nov. 1 date is to allow new seed to take before shutting down outdoor water. As most people are probably aware, most of Cary is under HOAs which often go overboard. I'm sure Cary does not want to clog up the court s
    system with lawsuites.

    Residents watering in Cary are not breaking the law although it might seem irresponsible with the drought but on the other side, they probably fear being sued if they don't get established lawns. How about a year without lawn lawsuites also?

  • silverflash Oct 18, 2007

    "I live in Cary and have seen several sprinklers going full blast. ANYONE watering their lawn or washing their cars/homes should have their water shut OFF and fined $1,000.00 AND have their pics and address posted in the paper and/or on this website. What part of D R O U G H T don't these people understand????"

    in response, i say i will continue to wash my car until the apartment complex stop watering my truck every other night. I refuse to shell out big bucks for a new paint job next year because of recycled water spots etched into my paint. you can opnly wipe the water off so many times before the truck gets so dirty that you must wash. so, apartment complexes, STOP watering your brown grass so I can stop washing my truck once per week because of your lack on conservation.

  • whatusay Oct 18, 2007

    Why don't they pump the hydrant water into a tanker truck and then put it back into the water purification plant. Looks simple enough to me, instead of letting it run off.

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