The Greensboro Fire Department has just begun a two-month testing program to make sure that all of the city’s fire hydrants are in good working order and will be able to pump out an adequate amount of water if they have to be used in a fire fight.

City officials say that the tests should be complete  by the end of May.

Obviously, no firefighter wants to find out once a fire has started that a hydrant isn’t functioning well and the tests now being conducted will ensure that they’re “operable and able to produce the required water pressure when needed.”

 There may be some inconvenience to city residents while the tests are being conducted.

 The testing will be done during normal operating hours, and city leaders state that “It will be impossible to know in advance, where or when the testing will take place in any specific area.”

Residents may also notice some changes in their water.

According to a city press release announcing the tests, “Opening fire hydrants can sometimes cause a temporary discoloration of water in nearby homes. The discoloration is not harmful in any way and can be cleared up by running the water for a few minutes.”

The wholesale testing of hydrants is something that the Fire Department does once a year. It not only helps protect Greensboro’s residents from fire, it’s also an evaluation indicator used by the Insurance Services Office – which rates cities according to the quality of fire protection they offer.

 In 1992, Greensboro was elevated to a Class 1 protection rating, the best rating possible.  The Greensboro Fire Department is proud to have kept that top rating ever since.

Fire officials are also calling on citizens to help find any defective hydrants.  If you notice a fire hydrant that’s out of service or that seems to be experiencing problems, you are being asked to contact the City of Greensboro Water Department at 336-373-2033. (The Fire Department tests the hydrants, but doesn’t perform any maintenance.)