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City Hydrant Sprinklers: Soon a Thing of the Past?

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by KYW’s Steve Tawa

With the heat cranking up this week, don’t even think about cracking open fire hydrants near your home to get some relief.

The Philadelphia Fire Department reminds residents that it’s illegal, and is encouraging neighbors to break out the hose and a sprinkler instead.

Fire commissioner Lloyd Ayers says the city has a limited recreational hydrant sprinkler cap program (below), which requires a neighborhood representative to apply for the appropriate equipment and take responsibility for making sure the hydrant is only opened with the cap in place.

hydrant kids City Hydrant Sprinklers: Soon a Thing of the Past?

Neighborhood block captains can call the water department to obtain hose and sprinkler units, at 215-685-0723, or they can get information through the 311 system.

But more and more hydrants now have locks on them, Ayers says, which means they’re off limits:

“If it’s a compression lock, it has a small, smooth bubble in the center of the hydrant.  We won’t be able to entertain that.”

As hydrants get updated and replaced, the city is putting on those center compression locks to make sure firefighters and the community have adequate water pressure.

The alternatives include using outdoor faucets and garden hoses, and buying a sprinkler from the local home or hardware store:

“One of the things we encourage folks to do is to share their water.”

(File photo provided)