Fire hydrants are left open to release pressure, says Muni

This fire hydrant on the corner of Webster and Johnson Street is open to relieve pressure while municipal workers work on a burst pipe in the area.

POLOKWANE – Residents, especially in the Bendor area, have recently complained about fire hydrants left open for hours on end. This, the municipality explained, is done to release pressure in the pipes while a water pipe is being fixed in the area.

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“Litres and litres of water is being wasted while we have to go without water for days on end. Surely this cannot be the only way water pipes can be fixed. They need to recycle the water instead of letting it run down the drain. It is not only a waste but seeing as water is such a scarcity, it is painful to stand by and watch this precious resource go to waste,” a resident in Bendor, who wished to remain anonymous due to fear of vindication, told Review.

Fire hydrants need to be opened to relieve air locks or grit from pipes after repairs have been done on the pipeline. This hydrant was opened on corner Johnson and Natorp Streets while the municipality was working on a pipe burst in the area.

According to the Polokwane Municipality, fire hydrants are usually opened in order to get the air or grit out of the water lines after repairs were made in the area.

There are also normally municipal officials in the vicinity as this is a required process during the fixing of pipes.

In a previous article, Review reported in the event of a pipe burst or any maintenance done on pipes, the valves must be closed in order to cut the flow. After repairing the pipe, the flow must be reopened and because there is a vacuum in the pipes, water is allowed to run to clear the vacuum to prevent a pressure buildup which will cause more punctures along the pipeline.

Despite numerous attempts, comment has yet to be received from the Polokwane Municipality in relation to questions about how the municipality will change their operating procedures to save water when a pipeline is being repaired.

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  AUTHOR
Nadia Bradbury
Journalist

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