More fire hydrants coming

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Mount Werner Water and Sanitation District officials are taking the first step to improve the district's fire flow.

The district will soon begin installing 43 fire hydrants. The project comes in response to a report the district published stating that seven neighborhoods had inadequate fire flow, which is the amount of water and water pressure that comes out of a fire hydrant.

The areas with low fire flow include Ridge Road, Anthony Circle, Laurel Lane, Timothy Drive, a portion of Ski Trail Lane, Long Thong Road and part of Burgess Creek Road.

The fire hydrant installation will be the first in a series of construction projects that officials estimate will cost $3.5 million. In September, the board of directors of the district said the district would take financial responsibility for the fire-flow issues.

"The district is committed to paying for those improvements," said Jay Gallagher, district manager.

The projects will come out of the capital reserve, which is funded through the tap fees system. People pay the fees to "tap into," or become a part of, the district's system.

Projects planned include adding three new water mains: two in the Long Thong Road neighborhood and one in the Timothy Drive neighborhood. This will connect existing water mains to allow each main to pull water from more than one direction, improving the pressure and supply of water, Gallagher said. Plans also call for construction of a 250,000-gallon underground water storage tank east of Ridge Road.

Of the 43 hydrants planned, officials are aiming to install 23 during this summer's construction season. District officials have contacted some residents about the construction, and they will continue to communicate, Gallagher said.

"We will ... communicate with them in the future when we have more information to pass on to them," he said.

Construction for the hydrants may start as soon as late May and will last until about September. Construction work is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. It will take about five days to install each hydrant.

Work crews will be removing fences, bushes, rocks or other barriers in utility easements or the city right of way. District officials plan to work with residents during removal.

Gallagher said he was pleased to start the improvements program, which he called ambitious but possible.

"This is a positive step for the district and the community; it will serve our customers well" and add a feeling of security, he said.

If you have questions about capital improvements in the Mount Werner Water & Sanitation District, call district Manager Jay Gallagher at 879-2424. You can also visit the district's Web site at www.mwwater.com.

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