HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – On Monday, November 27, 2023, the Hattiesburg Fire Department will begin annual testing for all fire hydrants throughout the city.

Officials said this is a maintenance requirement set forth by the Mississippi State Rating Bureau that meets the state’s standards for fire protection and assesses the pressure and flow of every hydrant within the city’s purview.

Each station and shift crew will be assigned hydrants in blocks of the city at a time. Fire officials believe that the process will take at least three full weeks but have scheduled a fourth for any weather or operational delays. 

“Testing not only helps us maintain our Class 3 fire rating but allows us to assess any operational and maintenance needs each year,” said Fire Chief Sherrocko Stewart. “We work with both the Water and Sewer Department and the City’s Engineering Department to maintain the integrity of the water lines and fire hydrants.” 

The department’s fire rating was upgraded from a 4 to a 3 in the summer of 2020. 

Residents in these areas may encounter blocked roads or traffic detours during this time – as well as low water pressure or discolored water. Officials said these are typical side effects of hydrants being flushed during testing. Residents who experience loss of service or an elongated time of low pressure or discolored water should call 601-545-4500.