Fire crews fight against frozen hydrants - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Fire crews fight against frozen hydrants

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Just this week fire crews in Sumner had to spend precious time running their hose a block further away because they hooked up to a frozen hydrant. A similar situation happened in Sioux City when authorities tried to hook up to two hydrants at a mobile home park, but the hydrants were frozen.

"Fire is a living, breathing enemy that we fight and how we fight it is with water," said Captain Rob Inouye, Cedar Falls Fire Department.

It's a situation Inouye hasn't ever had to deal with in 20 years in the business, but it is something they need to always be ready for.

"We carry 700 feet large diameter or supply hose on our fire trucks so that if a hydrant in front of us doesn't work or is nearby and doesn't work we've got enough, large diameter supply line to go to another hydrant," said Inouye.

Every year there are frozen hydrants in the city, but in Cedar Falls it's up to the utilities company to check and maintain them.

Inouye says in Iowa we have dry barrel hydrants. The gasket and valve are below the frost line and they sometimes have a potential of having a mechanical issue.

"There might be a small leak, a slow leak, a gasket that goes bad and water starts to slowly fill up in that dry barrel hydrant making it wet. And that water in that dry barrel might freeze," said Inouye.

Regardless if the hydrants work or not, crews say there is an opportunity for people to help maintain their hydrants.

Inouye says if there is a failure it could be possible, there may be a leak outside the hydrant. He says if something doesn't look right, call the utility company.

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