Waterworks crew member John Stephen holds a new compression style fire hydrant in place as water systems operator Roman Waitr hooks up the lines on Sixth Avenue on Friday

City upgrades fire hydrants

Old fire hydrants have been replaced with new models along Sixth Avenue as part of the water main replacement project

Fire hydrants within the city got a little bit more dependable last week as city crews replaced old models with newer ones.

Crews were replacing the fire hydrants along Sixth Avenue between Wallace Street and Roger Street as part of the water main replacement project.

“The current hydrants are the slide-gate style and we’re replacing it with the compression style so when they do get knocked over they don’t shoot up water,” said City of Port Alberni waterworks charge hand Amar Giri.

According to Giri, when the old style hydrants were hit by a car, they shot water into the air and caused localized flooding. When it happened at night, that meant the city crews worked overtime to fix the damage.

Hydrant replacement has been an ongoing project for the city since the early 2000s. Each fire hydrant costs about $2,300 to replace, Giri said.

“Within the last 15 years, everything that we’re replacing has been changed to compression style hydrants,” he said.

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