Fire Hydrant Maintenance

The easiest way to identify a WSSC Water hydrant is by its color; all WSSC Water fire hydrants are painted with a green top and a white or light gray body.

Fire hydrants are made of cast iron materials and can last more than 50 years. However, the internal working parts, such as gaskets and seats, require routine maintenance or replacement. This is the reason why WSSC Water has a proactive inspection program.

What We Do

WSSC Water crews physically inspect each hydrant once every three years. Approximately 13,000 inspections are conducted in the two counties every year. 

During a typical inspection, WSSC Water crews: 

  • Conduct a visual inspection
  • Measure the water pressure and flow rate
  • Conduct routine maintenance (oiling and greasing cylinders, exercise valve, replace caps as necessary, etc.)
  • Check fire hydrant against WSSC Water records, including age of fire hydrant
  • Compare water pressure and flow rate against historical data 

WSSC Water conducts its hydrant inspections on a three-year cycle because of the size of our system. Our 43,000-plus hydrants are spread out over 5,600 miles of water pipe. This cycle is based on the amount of time it takes to conduct a full inspection of each hydrant. 

Most of the inspections occur during the summer months. More than 10,000 are conducted between April and September. WSSC Water’s goal is to repair every hydrant taken out of service due to an unplanned disruption within seven calendar days. WSSC Water achieves this goal 95 percent of the time.

What You Can Do

Report a Hydrant Leak

We need your eyes throughout the communities that we serve to protect public health! If you suspect a fire hydrant leak, please report it to us at 301-206-4002. We are here to accept your emergency calls 24 hours per day, seven days per week. 

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