MOREAU — When firefighters pull up to a hydrant in Moreau, they have to take a close look before hooking up their hoses.
The hose connection might be one of four different types, requiring them to use different adapters to keep the hose on.
“Finding the right adapter in the middle of a working fire — there’s so many threads out there. If you have the wrong adapter on, it can come off when you pressurize the hose,” said Chief Nicholas Quinn.
He asked the Moreau Town Board to replace all of the non-standard connections while workers were out flushing the hydrants this month.
The board tabled the idea, which means that if workers are told to take an inventory or exchange connectors during hydrant flushing, it will have to wait until next year. Board members don’t object to changing the connectors, but said doing every one could be expensive. Supervisor Todd Kusnierz recommended planning for it in next year’s budget.
Quinn acknowledged that firefighters would never end up without water for a fire. But he said a standard connection on every hydrant would speed up the time it takes to get water.
“It really comes down to not having to search for the adapter,” he said.
The town already replaces the connector whenever the fire department reports on a specific hydrant.
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Quinn just wants a more thorough approach, using the time that workers are spending at every hydrant in town.
“Be a little proactive,” he said.
Fewer than 100 hydrants need to be changed, he estimated. They are mainly on Reservoir Road, Bluebird Road, and in the Moreau Industrial Park.
Water department worker Kristian Mechanick was flushing hydrants on Reservoir Road Wednesday. Using a special tool, he said, he can easily change out the connectors.
Last year, he oiled every hydrant in town so that they can be easily opened by the firefighters during a fire. He painted all of them, making them easier to find and protecting them from rust, and performed minor maintenance.
He is more than willing to change out the connectors, but he added that he wasn’t quite sure why it was such a big deal.
“The hydrants aren’t broken,” he said. “Why can’t they use an adapter?”