See, Click, Fix: Fire hydrant Concerns Settled

Charlotte, NC (WBTV) - The fire hydrant we're zeroing in on this week is at 300 Rampart Street in Charlotte, surrounded by businesses in an industrial park.

A See, Click, Fix viewer tells us it has been leaking since August 2010. Just a month ago kevininclt writes, "CMUD (Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities Department) tinkered with the valve last May and the leaked stopped for a time, then weeks later the leak returned. Since June the line is OUT OF SERVICE and a fire hydrant is out as well. NO RESOLUTION!!!!!!"

Our first step to get this fixed had us getting in touch with CMUD directly. We found out that the hydrant does need a seat ring at the bottom of the hydrant replaced.

CMUD also said it still could be used, if needed, for fire response despite the "Out of Service" sign hanging on the hydrant.

How can that be? We called the professionals to help settle this altogether: "Many hydrants don't necessarily have to be totally repaired. They can still flow water," says Captain Rob Brisley with the Charlotte Fire Department.

Brisley, a 25-year veteran, has his team of firefighters show us how they could connect and get water flowing from a hydrant in minutes.

But if for some reason the hydrant isn't working and an intense fire needs to be put out, these red hoses on the back of the fire truck connect to the 750 gallon water supply stored inside the truck.

Firefighters use that supply, while their computer system inside the truck tells them where the next nearest hydrants are to access unlimited amounts of water.

"We have over 16,000 hydrants and if a hydrant on Rampart Street may not be performing as well there is still one nearby," says Brisley.

In the case of the Rampart Street hydrant there are more than five hydrants within 600 feet. For perspective, the yellow hoses on the back of the fire truck are each 1,000 feet if firefighters have to connect to another hydrant.

So in a nutshell the Rampart Street hydrant will flow water if there is a fire emergency.

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