Senath to fix failing fireplugs

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

SENATH, MISSOURI (KAIT) --As a general rule we pretty much take the fire hydrant for granted--but, what do you do when they don't work?

The town of Senath, Missouri is dealing with that problem right now.

The town has about a dozen hydrants that either don't work at all or have a variety of problems.

Non-functional hydrants mean trouble for firefighters.

Chief Kent Montgomery is fully aware of how difficult broken hydrants can make their job.

"You know there's a couple of places that right now where the hydrants are bad we would have to lay a supply line seven or eight hundred feet or more."

Senath has about a dozen broken fireplugs marked with tape scattered around town.

Talking with Mayor Joe Lane and Fire Chief Kent Montgomery, Lane told me they weren't broken due to location or age.

Lane, "Some of these are the newer plugs that we put in 10-12 years ago Kent? Somewhere in that area."

Some you can tell leak, others you just have to see them leak to understand what's wrong.

Downtown Senath has an old rusty plug on a corner. I borrowed a plug wrench from Chief Lane . This is one of the oldest fire plugs in Senath we decided to give it a test because I've heard tell that it leaks. I twisted the valve and water shot out everywhere but where it was supposed to, mainly on me.

One plug that gives Chief Montgomery concern is  one that doesn't function at all. The valve stem is completely frozen up and it is not just the cold weather. It's the hydrant that could cause all the feed hose to be run.

Barbara Hawkins lives right beside the non-functioning plug.

"If my house catches on fire the fire department might not be able to put it out. So I think it needs to be taken care of."

And there is the good news. The city council approved the funds to repair the hydrants and a repairman has been located from Tennessee.

Lane, "There is not too many people going around repairing these things to my knowledge. Without taking the thing up . These people can repair them and leave them there. they can even repair them under pressure."

Lane hopes to have the repair crew in town around the 1st of March with estimated repairs taking about 10 days and costing around 7 thousand dollars. The funding will come from reserves from the water and sewer fund.

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