Revere has 875 hydrants throughout the city, and each year Water Department crews flush and inspect every one of them. Still, a recent incident on Oak Island had city councillors concerned enough to request a report from the Water & Sewer Department about the status and operational integrity of the city’s hydrant system.
Councillor-at-Large Dan Rizzo said the request for information was not intended to imply that Water Department crews weren’t doing their job. “No one wants to go down in a hole when it’s 10 degrees below zero on a December night to fix a leaking pipe,” said Rizzo, who added that the Water Department does a top-notch job and it’s a small department with a lot of responsibility.
Water & Sewer Dept. Superintendent Don Ciaramella explained that the problem was not with the hydrants but rather with the pipes that feed them. “If you open multiple hydrants on one six-inch line, you’re not going to get much water pressure,” said Ciaramella, who added that the main lines need to be upsized and work is being done on that.
Ciaramella showed the council a section of pipe from Avon Street that was so clogged it was impossible to look through it. The problem is the water main projects and funding, said Ciaramella. “I think we have the hydrants well under control.”
This year, so far, the department has inspected 403 hydrants. Ciaramella said six of those hydrants are out of service, 29 have been replaced and 21 are going out to bid.
Ward 5 City Councillor John Powers said getting water through the six-inch pipes was a chronic problem that goes back 40, 50, 60 years. “Lines were neglected. You’re making progress getting these lines corrected,” Powers told Ciaramella.