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What's wrong with this picture?

June 26, 2011
  • This fire hydrant on Sherris Way in Smithsburg was out of service for almost two months. It was repaired Tuesday.
Submitted photo

The problem: A fire hydrant on Sherris Way in Smithsburg was out of service for almost two months, nearby resident Leigh Zahm said.

Zahm said that when he called Town Hall, he was told that parts had been ordered, but he was unable to find out how long it would be before they were installed or who was responsible for the work.

“Should there be a fire at the end of Sherris Way, it would require the firefighters to have an extremely long hose lay,” Zahm wrote in an email. “I don’t know if firetrucks carry that much hose and if that extended length wouldn’t somehow affect the water pressure and flow.”

Who could fix it: Town of Smithsburg

What they say: When asked about the hydrant Tuesday, Smithsburg Town Manager Betsy Martin said the hydrant was repaired and put back in service that morning.

Martin said that when the town flushed its hydrants this year, the Sherris Way hydrant was not working properly and was marked as being out of service while the town ordered necessary parts.

“Sometimes we’re like everyone else; we’re at the mercy of the vendors,” Public Works Manager Jeff Long said. “When we got the parts in, the moment they came in, we repaired it.”

Long estimated the hydrant was out of service for 60 days. He said the local fire department was aware of the situation and was prepared to use another hydrant if necessary.

The town ordered some extra parts to prevent such waits in the future, Long said.

 — Compiled by Heather Keels

If you are aware of a safety problem, a major annoyance or a pet peeve that one of our governmental bodies, an agency or an organization is responsible for fixing, send the information, and a photo if you have it, to:
What’s Wrong With This Picture
c/o The Herald-Mail newsroom
100 Summit Ave.
Hagerstown, MD 21740
You can email the information to lindad@herald-mail.com.

Editor’s note: Each Monday, The Herald-Mail will highlight an infrastructure issue or other problem and will try to find out what is being done to fix or improve the situation.
We will not tackle situations involving neighborhood or domestic disputes, or consumer problems.

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