McAlester to replace faulty fire hydrants

Saturday, February 7th 2004, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

McALESTER, Okla. - After at least two homes burned down near malfunctioning fire hydrants, the city of McAlester is working to repair or replace the water spouts by December.

Assistant Fire Chief Harold Stewart said the city is testing its fire hydrants and marking with yellow paint the ones that are not working. Stewart says there are about 30 hydrants that need to be replaced, but that's down significantly in the past three years.

In April 2001, the fire department presented a list of 138 faulty hydrants, City Engineer George Marcangeli said. Some needed only minor repairs, Marcangeli said, and some have been totally replaced.

Marcangeli said the city wants the broken hydrants replaced by December. The city has about 800 hydrants.

Each new hydrant costs about $850 to replace, not counting the man hours to do the work.

"McAlester is an old city" and has old lines that may go back to the early 1900s, Stewart said.

One of the faulty hydrants was at the corner where one of the city's oldest two-story homes was destroyed by fire Tuesday. The city also has had a tort claim filed against it after house fire near a hydrant that was inoperable because of gravel in the line.