The Cartersville Fire Department is partnering with the city's Water Department again over the next several weeks for its annual fire hydrant testing process.

Hydrants scheduled to be tested today, May 22, are scheduled to include those at 14 and 20 Oakdale Drive; Meadow Lane at Jones Mill Road, and 1304 Jones Mill Road; 105, 207 and 217 Dogwood Drive; at the corner of Dogwood and Pettit; and in front of 1329 Joe Frank Harris Parkway at the end of Dogwood, a city government news release stated.

Hydrants scheduled to be tested Thursday, May 23, include 101 Camelia Lane; Meadow Lane and Camelia Lane; 201 Meadow Lane; Pettit Road and Grassdale; at 6, 14, 24, 32 and 42 Skyview Circle; Benham Circle and Grassdale; and at 8, 24 and 36 Benham Circle.

Testing will always take place Monday through Thursday and be completed by noon to allow ample time for any challenges that are encountered, the release stated.

Since hydrants do not get used on a regular basis, testing the hydrants helps identify any problems so they can be corrected and save the Fire Department valuable time in the event of a fire.

The city is working to keep all residents and businesses informed of when testing will be taking place in their area.

Signs with dates will be placed in the applicable areas prior to testing, phone messages will be sent out using the Connect CTY system and the media will receive the schedules ahead of time.

"This process should not cause any inconvenience to the public. However, occasionally, testing the hydrants does stir up some sediment in the pipes, causing some minor discoloration. If this occurs, the water is perfectly safe for drinking, but please run water until it is clear prior to washing any laundry.

"The city appreciates the public’s patience when this critical testing is taking place in their area."

Accurate and current hydrant flow data affects the community's fire insurance rating that has a direct bearing on the cost of residential and commercial insurance policies.

"This is one of the contributing tasks that helped reduce our ISO rating to a Class 1 this year," the release stated. "This ISO rating is the highest that can be achieved and less than 1 percent of the communities nationwide obtain this classification."

Common problems encountered during the annual hydrant testing program include obstruction by shrubs, out of service valves, caps that cannot be removed, inadequate water pressure, insufficient water supply or broken lines.

These problems if not corrected can cause major issues for firefighters during an emergency.

Testing of fire hydrants also has a long-term benefit, as it reduces iron deposits in the water system.

With more than 1,400 fire hydrants in the city of Cartersville, the testing process has recently been re-evaluated and modifications have been made.

The goal is to complete one-fifth of hydrants each year, establishing a five-year rotation for accurate flow data for the Water System. This modified rotation plan also will conserve water, the release stated.

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