Vodokanal replaces the last old-type fire hydrant in St. Petersburg


On November 23, Vodokanal workers replaced the last worn out and outdated fire hydrant on Rastrelli Square in the Central District of St. Petersburg. From that moment on, the city will use 23 500 advanced fire hydrants which can be serviced or repaired without interrupting water supply to consumers. Moreover, the new hydrants will provide water for fire extinguishing in a reliable way.

Vodokanal’s scope of responsibilities is not only public water supply, but also provision of water for fire-fighting. In case of fire, a fire hose is attached to a relevant hydrant. Hydrants also serve to fill fire trucks with water from the distribution network.

For these purposes, fire hydrants are located on the municipal water networks at a distance of 200 meters between each other.

The fundamental distinction of state-of-the-art hydrants is an aboveground standpipe. Located inside manholes, such hydrants are equipped with mandatory isolation valves to stop water flow from the network and enable repair and maintenance without interrupting the water supply service. Moreover, the advanced devices are frost-resistant in winter because water is withdrawn at the ground level.

With old-type fire hydrants (the last of them was replaced today), water withdrawal is underground, at the depth of water network, i.e. 1.5-2 meters below the surface, and the cock is tied in without any isolation valve. Using this method entailed interruptions of cold water service for repair and maintenance. Besides, such hydrant design raised the probability of freezing in frosty weather and leaving fire-fighters without water (it may happen when the water level in the manhole is higher than the fire hydrant). Technically, such hydrant design is considered outdated, according to the existing standards.

The decision to replace outdated fire hydrants was made by Vodokanal upon approval by the Ministry of Emergency Situations in St. Petersburg (MES SPb) in 2015. All in all, Vodokanal has replaced 876 outdated hydrants with new ones since 2015.

In cooperation with the MES SPb services, Vodokanal employees check all fire hydrants in the city for operability and sufficient water delivery for fire extinguishing twice a year.