Did you know there are over 600 fire hydrants in South Portland? The Portland Water District is responsible for providing the water. We were driving around our beloved 04106 this week and noticed that the fire hydrants are different colors. We knew it meant something! Luckily our heroes at the South Portland Fire Department gave us the answer. It has everything to do with water pressure.
"Here’s a quick rundown. The different colors determine how much water can flow in Gallons Per Minute or GPM. There are multiple factors as to why this flows this rate, such as water main size or location of hydrant."
In lowest to highest so you can compare ones you see around town:
- Black tops are 399 Gallons Per Minute
- Red tops are 499 Gallons Per Minute
- Orange are 500-999 Gallons Per Minute
- Green tops are 1000-1400 Gallons Per Minute
- Blue are 1500 Gallons Per Minute (or more)
This color system is not specific to South Portland, the system is used nationwide, so you might see the same thing even if you are not in South Portland.
There are private hydrants as well in and around the city in shopping centers, industrial centers, and some private developments. If you live close to a hydrant you can be a SoPo Do-Gooder and "adopt" a hydrant. This is an informal deal where you are a good citizen and clear/shovel the hydrant near you. It could be really helpful if the fire department ever needs to use it...every second counts!
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