To ensure fire hydrants work properly when needed, Gilbert must effectively maintain, test, and replace these critical pieces of infrastructure.
In the past, an outside contractor was utilized to replace Gilbert’s aging fire hydrants. While contractors focused on the replacement of fire hydrants, Town employees concentrated their efforts towards preventative maintenance activities such as fire flow testing, fire hydrant painting, and fire hydrant repairs. As Gilbert researched how to best maintain its existing infrastructure through Long Range Infrastructure Planning (LRIP), the Water Department identified that they could perform the necessary care of fire hydrants in-house, with Town employees, in a more cost-efficient manner.
In 2016, Gilbert’s Water Department increased the number of fire hydrants it inspects and maintains each year. Inspecting more fire hydrants means that more routine maintenance can be performed and repairs made as needed to keep fire hydrants in service for the primary function of fire suppression. This allows fire hydrants to perform in a safe and reliable manner for a longer period of time, and reduces the number of new hydrants purchased for replacement.
It’s like the new car analogy—if you purchase a brand new car and never get an oil change, you can run it at a lower cost, for a little while, until the engine busts. Instead, Gilbert drives its car (maintains its fire hydrants) with routine oil changes (industry-standardized maintenance protocols) to ensure we get the most safe and reliable use out of our purchase, and that it lasts for a long time.
On top of these efficiencies, Gilbert has been able to renegotiate contracts for the price of materials to repair and replace hydrants, as well as collaborate with other municipalities to get the best deal on purchasing new fire hydrants. Now, Gilbert spends $600 less per new fire hydrant.
The infrastructure built during Gilbert’s rapid growth years requires careful maintenance, repair, and reinvestment to keep it working as well now as the day it was installed. Gilbert’s fire hydrant story is just one example of how the Town plans, in order to maintain system resiliency.
Gilbert employees are dedicated to the delivery of safe and reliable water and wastewater services to citizens and businesses in a cost-effective and efficient manner. To learn more, visit the Gilbert water blog.
See an issue with a fire hydrant or a water leak? During normal business hours contact (480) 503-6400 Monday through Thursday, 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM. For after hours and on weekends, contact (480) 503-6500.
Source: Town of Gilbert