Faulty fire hydrants raise concern

WILBRAHAM, Mass. (WWLP) – Fire hydrants get old and break.  It’s bound to happen every once in a while, but one Wilbraham woman said her hydrant has been out of service since last spring. She says it’s a problem she wants fixed.

“I was worried if there was ever a fire or anything these houses would just burn down,” said Donna Lobdell of Wilbraham.  “I’m sure everyone in the neighborhood would want this fixed because our houses, lives depend on it.”
Donna Lobdell has made several calls to Wilbraham’s Department of Public Works, because the hydrant on Dalton Street leaks and has been sitting in a huge puddle for months.

Even though the fire hydrants in question are located in Wilbraham, it’s actually the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission who services the area. The commission oversees 6,300 fire hydrants, and 20 of those are located in Wilbraham.

“If there’s a hydrant in relatively close proximity, we know that the fire department can access that hydrant. If it’s a more rural area, with just one hydrant and not a lot of other hydrants around, that would be prioritized,” said Joyce Mulvaney, Public Communications Manager at SWSC.

Residents living in rural areas with just one hydrant worry what might happen if that hydrant’s broken. 22News spoke with the Wilbraham Fire Captain who says it’s not an issue. They set up portable water tanks when a hydrant is down.

Mulvaney told 22News they send weekly reports  to the Wilbraham Fire Department, listing hydrants that are out of service. That way, firefighters know where they’ll  need  a water tank before they leave the station.

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