Skip to comments.Are the fire hydrants in your neighborhood turned on? (the terrorists have won)
Posted on 09/12/2008 5:18:10 AM PDT by Notary Sojac
ROCKWALL COUNTY - A North Texas homeowner wants you to learn from his family's tragedy.
The fire hydrants in his neighborhood are turned off.
But he didn't know that until June 24th, the night his house caught fire.
"My grandfather died last year. My wife's grandfather died last year. All our pictures were the biggest thing that we lost," said Eric Aderholt.
It didn't have to happen. When the fire began, firefighters from around Rockwall County responded quickly.
But when they went to hook hose to hydrant, there was no water.
"No one ever told us that they were turned off," said Aderholt.
Clay Hodges is the general manager of Cash Special Utility District.
He explains all the district's hydrants, including those in Alexander Ranch, have had their water turned off since just after 9/11 - something a trade association spokesman tells us is common practice for rural systems.
"These hydrants need to be cut off in a way to prevent vandalism or any kind of terrorist activity, including something in the water lines," Hodges said.
But Hodges says fire departments know, or should have known, the water valves can be turned back on with a tool.
"All our fire departments, at least the local ones, I know were notified of that."
But, when firefighters came to the Aderholt's home, no one had that tool.
By the time someone brought it, it was too late.
The neighborhood association's now working to get the tools in the hands of homeowners, as an extra precaution.
Cash Water's also sent out a letter letting fire departments know they're welcome to use the hydrants, if there's enough water pressure but reminding them they'll have to turn on the water first.
"It was a tragic situation we don't like to see that happen to anybody, especially one of our water customers," said a company representative.
You may have noticed the fire hydrants along Aderholt's street are black, not red.
In Texas, that legally warns firefighters they may not function - private companies such as Cash Water are not required to maintain enough water pressure to fight fires.
They maintain the hydrants are technically only there to help flush out and clean their systems.
It was to instill a sense of fear in Americans, and cause us to change our ways out of fear.
That's what to "terrorize" means.
America is, in fact, terrorized.
Firefighters have all sorts of tools on board. Designate a spot for the hydrant-turner-on-wrench, possibly even next to the hydrant-uncapper-wrench. Done and done.
OREM, Utah (ABC 4 News) - A startled homeowner got a visit from Orem Police Tuesday afternoon. They were interested in a plant that he was growing by his mailbox in the front yard. They were so interested that they put a call into Homeland Security. No, it wasnt marijuana. It was a castor bean plant.
Castor beans themselves are poisonous and are used in the manufacture of the super-deadly poison, Ricin. They are also used to make something as innocent as castor oil.
Lincoln Fuqua is a master gardener who grew a castor bean plant in his front yard for nostalgia. Born and raised in Kentucky, he was surrounded by castor bean plants. Fuqua remembers, I used to chew on them as a kid.
And when he saw the castor bean seeds this spring at his favorite nursery in Orem, he remembers snapping some up and thinking, Hey, Im going to grow some this year because theyre beautiful.
Fuqua has a background in chemistry and is well aware that terrorists have used them to make Ricin. But he never dreamed that someone would think that he might be a terrorist.
He says with a laugh, Im not a terrorist, but I was terribly frightened when the call came in. I was terrorized (for) my humble little plant thats over there in the corner.
Orem police have not given us their verdict on the castor bean plant, but it is not illegal. In fact, only the District of Columbia strongly discourages the sale of castor bean seeds. And ABC 4 could not find any contemporary effort to either restrict or ban the plant.
The madrassas remain open for business, but by golly we are nailing those terrorist gardeners!
Our hydrants are off all the time. Spin the caps off and nothing comes out.
You need the large wrench to turn it on. Everybody here seems to know that. The Public Works people even have a wrench in the truck so they can flush lines.
Open that line and you ain’t getting anything in. Too much water pressure.
“to get the tools in the hands of homeowners”
ummmm.... wouldn’t that defeat the whole point of turning the hydrants off? Are homeowners autimatically assumed to not be terrorists?
Funny, I thought that a fire hydrant was actually supposed to be used to provide water to fire fighters so they could . . . . . . well, put out fires. Of course, the name "fire hydrant" sounds a lot snazzier than "system flusher outer thingy".
Sarcasm aside, this is bureaucratic BS. The city is apparently siphoning the funds off for maintaining the fire hydrants and using the money elsewhere. Terrorism just makes a good cover story. Were I the homeowner and/or the HOA, the city would be facing a lawsuit over this. If they are going to use terrorism and safety as a cover story, it works both ways. Benjamin Franklin developed the Fire Department system as a safety issue for the public and to try to prevent fires from devastating neighborhoods.
Vandalism? Im going to be it's very rare. Putting something in the water line? Ok, imagine trying to put something in when 50-70 psi of water is forcing it's way out.
Uh, read the story again. It sounds like (1) it was not in a city but a somewhat rural area and (2) the supplier is a private utility, not the city.
I could see where the responding fire department might not have the correct wrench for the hydrant, but that the hydrant was disconnected from the water supply seems incorrect.
Does the insurance company know about the hydrants? When providing homeowners insurance they want to know how far away the nearest fire hydrant is.
Any reasonable person is going to think that a fire hydrant is going to be usable for, well, fighting fires. Why even bother putting these props up if they aren't going to be useful for anything?
Black hydrant is a dead hydrant. This sounds like a private water company has a well that serves the rural subdivision, with both potable water and they have a hydrant loop that is separate. That is normally not the case. The theory is that someone is supposed to know where the valve is and yurn it on in case of a working fire.
The plan was not well thought out or planned. Unless they brought a tanker in they ran out of water quickly.
On the engine I drive, I can empty the tank in 1-2 minutes depending on which line we pull. Best case is one hand line that lasts 4-5 minutes.
In everything except the hottest climates, we use a dry hydrant. You take the cap off, attach your line and turn it on with a special wrench.
I have flushed bottles, cans, toys, and rocks out while testing hydrants.
Of course all hydrants are off right at the hydrant. Imagine unscrewing the cap and trying to hook up a hose with a 3-4” stream of high pressure water coming out.
This sounds as if there is another valve between the hydrant and the water main. If so, there must be access of some kind in a valve box in the street. Otherwise, how would the water company turn it off?
“Warning! This fire hydrant must not be used to put out fires!”
Maybe they SHOULD be required.
They maintain the hydrants are technically only there to help flush out and clean their systems.
But I imagine the executives make sure there is one near their houses.
“They maintain the hydrants are technically only there to help flush out and clean their systems.”
Someone doesn’t know the difference between a fire hydrant and a flushing hydrant. Fire hydrants can be used to flush the lines. But flushing hydrants are much smaller in size and located at the end of a water line.
Yep, its standard practice to place a gate valve between the main and the hydrant. But normally this valve is only used for hydrant replacement or repair. The normal operating valve is located at the top of the hydrant.
Not in rural Michigan. One of the great joys of summer is when the volunteer fire crews make their monthly rounds of hydrants, turning them on, checking their flow, then on to the next one. Nearly all of the town kids follow the crew around. It's an impromptu water parade.
The homeowner’s insurance company will be suing the local fire dept to reimburse them for the majority of the replacement cost they will have to pay out to the homeowner.
All hydrants are like that. What they must be talking about here is a second valve buried beside the hydrant that needs a second, and special tool.
Yes, I read the story. The city has sold the maintenance of the fire hydrants to a private company. Yes, I know that it was a “rural” area, but the city still owns the fire hydrants, they just outsourced the maintenance.
In addition, the city and the private utility’s inability to guarantee enough water pressure still go back to the responsibility of the city, not the utility that holds the maintenance contract. This is another case of a politician ducking a storm they created by blaming the company responsible for the maintenance.
I’m not buying the blather!
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