Urban Utilities maintains more than 100,000 fire hydrants across five local council areas, including Brisbane, Ipswich, Scenic Rim, Lockyer Valley and Somerset.
We invest around $7 million every year in maintaining, testing and renewing hydrants, and work with the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) to ensure each hydrant is easy to find and operates effectively.
Designated work crews carry out a number of tasks, including:
- cutting back grass or vegetation
- cleaning the concrete surrounds
- painting the hydrant lid yellow
- vacuuming out the hydrant
- checking/reattaching the blue cat’s eye marker
- checking/repainting the yellow locator arrow
- testing flow and pressure
- undertaking repairs or renewals
There may be a short water outage during planned hydrant work. If affected, customers are notified at least 3 days in advance.
Fire hydrants are inspected every two years as part of our hydrant maintenance program. Crews make sure the hydrant can be easily seen, accessed and is in good working order. Information from these inspections is then used to schedule further maintenance and repairs as required.
Urban Utilities also undertakes maintenance if any issues are reported by customers, QFES and other contractors.
Fire hydrant testing is a rolling program which tests water flow to confirm hydrants perform according to the Department of Energy and Water Supply’s Planning Guidelines for water supply and sewerage. This testing helps determine the condition of fire hydrants.
If a fire hydrant is not working as well as it should, we replace it as part of our hydrant renewal program.
Urban Utilities has a renewal program to ensure hydrants across our network operate effectively. Renewals are scheduled when a hydrant is identified through our testing program.
How you can help
The community plays an important role in helping to keep fire hydrants in good working order. They are usually located on the nature strip and have a yellow lid. A blue cat’s eye on the road indicates their location.
You can help keep fire hydrants easily visible and accessible by:
- Not planting garden beds over the hydrants
- Keeping grass and other plants trimmed around the hydrant
- Reporting faults or damage by calling us on 13 23 64 (24/7)
Impacts of planned hydrant work
- We may need to turn off the water in your street when we work on a hydrant
- If you’re affected, you’ll be notified at least 3 days in advance by a postcard with the times and dates of the temporary water outage
- The outage is typically less than 2 hours, however the start time depends on a number of factors. The notification provides an 8-hour window for the work
- If weather or unforeseen site conditions delay the work, it may be rescheduled
- The work will usually be done during the day; however night work may be scheduled on main roads in accordance with approved traffic permits
We appreciate your patience while this essential work is completed.
What to do before and after a water interruption
Before the water is turned off please ensure:
- You store enough water to meet your needs during the outage
- Taps, hot water systems and appliances which use water are not operating
- You turn off private water booster pumps
Following the work, there may be air in the pipes and some minor water discolouration. We suggest you:
- Slowly turn on a tap at the front of your property (usually located in the garden) to allow any air in the pipes to escape
- Keep the water running until it runs clear. The discoloured water can be captured and used in the garden
- Avoid washing light coloured clothes until the water is clear as discolouration may stain clothes
If you experience prolonged water discolouration following fire hydrant work or require further information, please contact us on 13 23 64 (24/7).