Halifax Water is considering the future of a fire hydrant in the downtown core that has often been struck by vehicles and was once again damaged on Tuesday morning — sending water spewing metres into the air.
According to a Halifax Water spokesperson, the “remnants” of a hydrant at the corner of Hollis and Salter streets was struck by a vehicle, causing the pin to drive down into the water main and “cause essentially a geyser of water to shoot up into the street.”
“As soon as we’re aware that a hydrant’s been struck and certainly in a situation like we had this morning, we would respond right away and shut down the water flow, so there’s no water wasted or any damage to any property in the area,” said James Campbell.
There were only the “remnants” of a hydrant on Tuesday morning because the hydrant had recently been struck and damaged.
The coffee shop’s front door is directly in front of the hydrant.
“We were serving a lineup of people coffee this morning and we heard a large bang and about a 30-to-40-foot water tower spraying up into the air. We came running out, no one could get in or out because it was just a water storm here,” she said.
“The police ended up coming and we waited about 30, 35 minutes for Halifax Water to eventually get here and the whole place was flooded.”
Cook says the location of the hydrant has been an obvious issue.
“Since I’ve been here 15 years, it’s a regular occurrence: they’ve replaced that. I can’t count on my both hands how many times they’ve replaced the hydrant,” she said.
Halifax Water, which is responsible for the 8,350 hydrants in the municipality, says they will be looking into the location of this particular hydrant.
“That will be up to operations to determine if that hydrant is required at that location. If they determine it’s not required, then they’ll probably just remove it and put it out of service permanently and let fire services know,” said Campbell.
“If we think the hydrant is in not a great location and it can be moved a few feet, then that’s what they’ll do. But that will be up to our operations folks to make that determination.”
Cook says the coffee shop lost some business on Tuesday morning and would be supportive of having the hydrant moved.
“When I saw them out here this morning working on it, I was keeping myself back from coming out and saying, ‘Hey maybe you guys should do a report and have the hydrant moved up a little bit or have it moved out of this corner altogether because it’s just an extreme waste of labour coming out to replace it constantly.'”
— With files from Alexa MacLean