Firefighters ask residents to clear area around hydrants - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Firefighters ask residents to clear area around hydrants

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - The large amounts of snow we've seen this winter leave another problem most people don't think about until it is too late.

Blocked, buried and barely visible fire hydrants are worrying Eau Claire firefighters.

"By allotting a firefighter to shovel out a hydrant, that takes him away from our operation, of doing what he needs to do at the fire," says Eau Claire Deputy Fire Chief Duane Grunst.

With more than 3,500 fire hydrants in Eau Claire, it is impossible for the city to maintain each one. Each fire truck holds only 500 gallons of water yet which can only last 20 seconds. Grunst says this is why it is so important to find an additional water source so quickly.

"If we had a fire on this street right now, I'd say its a high probability that we would never find this hydrant," Grunst says of a hydrant buried by snow.

Even though the hydrant may be difficult to find during the day, Grunst says it would be nearly impossible to find at night. He asks that residents keep hydrants clear of snow and ice and have a clear path to the street.
 
If you are unable to do it yourself call the water and utilities department at 839-5045 so they can send someone out to clear it for you.

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