Hydrants in the Mid-Western Region are inspected within a two year period, according to the Mid-Western Regional Council.
The issue of hydrant maintenance was recently raised following a house fire in Lewis Street on New Year’s Day. Mudgee resident Heath Gay called for Council to outline the schedule after filming firefighters trying to raise a hydrant.
Mudgee Fire and Rescue deputy captain, Craig Muscat later explained the two minute and 40 second video was taken after the fire had been extinguished and the Gulgong crew were cleaning and checking the water main.
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Heath and his parents, Stephen Gay and Elizabeth Newton, described the video as ‘irrefutable evidence’ and called on Council to explain ‘who is responsible for the hydrant maintenance’.
In a statement to the Mudgee Guardian, Council outlined the hydrant schedule.
“Council currently schedules to undertake maintenance inspections of all hydrants in the Mid-Western Region within a two year period. There are currently more than 2500 hydrants on Council water mains,” the statement explained.
“Inspections have been completed in Kandos, Rylstone, Charbon, Clandulla, along with parts of Mudgee during the current two-year inspection period (from the 2016/17 financial year to the 2017/18 financial year).
“Council will be completing maintenance inspections in Mudgee and Gulgong this financial year, before commencing the maintenance schedule again starting in Kandos, Rylstone, Charbon and Clandulla in the 2018/19 financial year.”
Council utilises both internal staff resources and contractors to complete the maintenance program, which includes ‘hydrants being checked to ensure they are in working order, cleaned, and marked to ensure visibility and their location checked to ensure mapping accuracy’.
Mudgee Fire and Rescue have since launched the Hydrant Hero campaign, aimed at encouraging members of the public to identify the hydrant closest to their house, making sure that it is clearly visible and unobstructed.
Mr Muscat explained it is “physically impossible for us to check every hydrant” and they are turning the “situation into a positive”.
Community members are asked to post photos of their hydrant to the Fire and Rescue NSW 387 Mudgee Facebook page.
Residents that have concerns about hydrant access are advised to contact Council or request work be done by lodging a Works Request available on Council’s website.