Cullman Fire and Rescue personnel will begin flow testing fire hydrants in and near the city's jurisdiction beginning Monday.

The department tests the city's 747 fire hydrants each year as part of a requirement for Insurance Services Organization (ISO) points which could result in a savings on homeowners insurance in the city.

The tests also give local firefighters valuable information about the water flow capacity of specific hydrants and how serviceable each hydrant is in the event of an emergency.

Testing of the hydrants will take place from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Privately-owned hydrants will also be tested in each area.

During testing, firemen open a flow valve on the hydrant allowing water to spray into the street. A gauge is then used to determine how much water is flowing from that particular hydrant, which also tells firemen how much water is available at that plug.

"We color code hydrants according to their water flow capability," Hackney said. "We also check the residual pressure in the line while the water is flowing and we also note the water pressure."

The test at each hydrant takes only a few minutes, but often firemen allow the hydrants to run long enough for the water to clear so it doesn't leave the water in the lines dingy for consumers.

"Since flowing water through the line during testing tends to stir up the sediment in the line, producing a sometimes brownish or yellowish color in the water, we're asking people to wait between two and four hours after testing before washing their clothes, particularly their white items," Hackney said.

Hydrants will be flow tested Monday through Friday only.

For more information about when flow testing will be conducted in a specific area of town residents can contact the fire department at 775-7186. To report any problems or to ask specific question, residents should call the Cullman Water Department at 775-7210.

The Details

Here is the schedule for tests in the northeast, northwest, southeast and southwest sections of the city:

• Northeast: April 5-14. The general area includes Childhaven Road to Stonebridge, Eva Road to County Road 1301, Alabama Highway 157 to Alabama Highway 69, and U.S. Highway 278 East to Highways 69 and 157.

• Northwest: April 17-28. This area includes Highway 157 to Terri Pines, and U.S. Highway 31 North to Americold.

• Southeast: May 1-12. This area includes Highway 278 East to County Road 719, Bolte Road to County Road 702, County Road 702 (East Hanceville Highway) to Bolte Road, and Second Avenue South to County Road 715 and Phelan Circle.

• Southwest: May 15-31. This area includes Highway 278 West to County Road 469 and on to Deer Run, Logan Avenue to Hartwig Lane (Highway 69 to County Road 222), Cherokee Avenue to just past 26th Street, Second Avenue South to County Road 494, and Golf Course Road (County Road 490) to the Cullman Municipal Golf Course.

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