Thousands of fire hydrants being repainted - Business, Government Legal News from throughout WV

Thousands of fire hydrants being repainted

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West Virginia American Water has initiated a system-wide fire hydrant repainting project.

The Charleston-based utility company's $240,000 project will improve the visibility and appearance of more than 5,700 hydrants across the state. The project began last week in Kanawha and Putnam counties. Hydrants in Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Fayette, Lewis, Lincoln, Mercer, Summers and Webster counties will also be repainted in the coming weeks.

"While solely cosmetic in nature, this project is important to our customers because it will increase the visibility of fire hydrants for quick identification by fire departments during emergency situations," said
Jeff McIntyre, president of West Virginia American Water. "It also improves the overall appearance of the only prevalent water infrastructure visible above the ground, which should give our customers confidence that we are also taking care of and investing in the much larger percentage of our water infrastructure that is buried beneath the ground."

It's not just the responsibility of fire departments to keep communities safe from fire. According to Deputy State Fire Marshal Carol Nolte, everyone needs to be aware of the condition and location of hydrants in their communities.

 "Any improvement project to make hydrants more visible while keeping them in good working condition will absolutely assist our firefighters and help protect our citizens," Nolte said.

The company is asking drivers to use caution while workers are completing these painting projects, as many hydrants are located just inches from the street curb. All workers will be wearing high visibility construction safety vests.

West Virginia American Water checks and operates more than 9,000 of its fire hydrants each year to ensure functionality in the event of a fire emergency. However, the appearance of many of these hydrants has not been improved in years.

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