This fire hydrant on Hayes Street has been painted black to indicate that it is not functional. The Water Board is looking at hiring an outside company to replace or repair hydrants in Hartsville/Trousdale County.

Trousdale County’s Water Board will hold a special called meeting next week to discuss and potentially approve hiring an outside company to repair and/or replace fire hydrants.

The board made the decision to solicit bids during its June 23 meeting. The Water Department has been working to identify and repair hydrants since current General Manager Tommy McFarland was hired.

“It’s going to take time; fire hydrants are not the only situation we deal with on this water system,” McFarland told board members at the June meeting. “We are working to get them done, but we’re limited with the number of people we have.”

The Water Board will meet on Tuesday, July 14 at 5 p.m. at the mayor’s office to review a list of companies that service hydrants.

“Part of our issue is we have been dealing with that for a while,” said board chairman Mark Beeler. “So we have asked the general manager and our engineer to come up with a list of companies that will do a turnkey job of inspecting, flowing and repairing if necessary the fire hydrants. We’re going to look at outsourcing that particular job.”

Beeler, who also currently serves as interim fire chief, noted that from the Fire Department’s perspective working hydrants had been an ongoing issue, especially within the Hartsville city limits.

Video of a house fire on Halltown Road back in December reportedly showed firefighters trying to access two hydrants. One did not work and one had too low pressure to be used.

Calls to the Water Department by The Vidette were not returned.

“We’ve got an old infrastructure when it comes to the Water Department and the hydrant system,” Beeler said. “Some of those hydrants are 50, 60 years old and they just need maintenance and updates. Some of them will need repairs.”

Beeler said he believed the main focus of whichever company was hired would be in Hartsville itself. A number of the water lines out in the county are not wide enough or do not have enough water pressure to support hydrants.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

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