In the Ashbury Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, one might have seen water consistently flowing out of a certain fire hydrant recently. The SFPUC has an explanation for that.
In order to create a new connection between the Twin Peaks and Ashbury systems, SFPUC crews needed to cut into the pipeline in order to create these connections. These pipes must first be emptied of water in order to safely accomplish this work.
“This is a high-pressure firefighting hydrant, which is a standalone firefighting system unique to San Francisco,” said Bill Teahan, Operations Manager of the City Distribution Division at the SFPUC. “We have workers in the hole pouring lead joints, which are still used on the high-pressure system. Molten lead and water do not mix! So, we have to have a relief point to take the water away from the job site.”
While on site, a few concerned residents came by and asked Teahan why the hydrant was releasing so much water, when that water can be other used for drinking. His response:
“This is firefighting water, this is not potable water and it has nothing to do with drinking water,” said Teahan. “We are relieving water from that hole for the workers safety at Ashbury tank and to ensure the reliability and resiliency of our emergency firefighting system.”