Water Supply/Fire Hydrants

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The Franklin Fire Department conducts annual tests on fire hydrants in the City.  The results from these tests are used to identify areas for improvements in water supply for fire protection purposes and to help assess any changes in the water system from one year to the next.

Firefighters painting a hydrant

  Image courtesy of the Tennessean

Firefighters also perform maintenance on the fire hydrants which includes painting the tops (called the bonnet) and the bottom (barrel) to a predefined color coding system.  This color coding provides information to firefighters and water utility districts on the water flow available from the hydrant.

The bonnets are color coded in four categories in accordance with American Water Works Association and National Fire Protection Association standards:

Blue              +1,500 gallons per minute

     Hydrant, blue

Green 1,000-1,499 gallons per minute

     Hydrant, green

Orange   500-999 gallons per minute

     Hydrant, orange

Red 499 gallons or less per minute

     Hydrant, red

Black Out of service      Hydrant, black
Blue top hydrant

Hydrants with less than 500 gallons of water per minute cannot be effectively used for firefighting.

Hydrants with a yellow barrel are generally part of the public water system.  Private hydrants are painted with silver barrels to identify that they are part of a fire protection system separated from the public water mains by a meter and backflow device. 

Yellow fire hydrant

Silver fire hydrant

Obstructed/hidden Fire Hydrants

There's nothing worse for firefighters than arriving at a house fire and not being able to locate a fire hydrant.  It is very important for property owners to avoid planting vegetation or constructing obstructions that would block the view of hydrants or prevent firefighters from being able to use the hydrant in an emergency.

Fire hydrant hidden by bushHydrant 2