Residents have been calling the Corry Fire Department and city hall and stopping firefighters to ask, why are the fire hydrants white, Corry Fire Chief Jim Lathrop said.
The white fire hydrants that have been seen in the First Ward of Corry, and new fire hydrants in other wards added during a recent citywide water project, are not being left white. The white is a primer to prepare the hydrants for repainting.
During the first phase of a water project to update the aging water system throughout Corry, hydrants were replaced and added.
The Corry Fire Department annually repaints all the hydrants in Corry, addressing one ward each year, but took a two-year break because the department hadn't seen a list of which hydrants were being replaced during the water project, Lathrop said.
Repainting restarted in June in the First Ward and since the new hydrants came in red, firefighters needed to repaint those to match the hydrant colors used in Corry, Lathrop said.
After firefighters grind off rust with a wire wheel, a layer of white primer is added to help the Rust-Oleum oil-based paint last longer, Lathrop said.
The base of the hydrants is painted yellow because the color shows up in any light and any weather, but the color of the top, called the bonnet, is based on the gallons per minute available at each hydrant, according to Lathrop.
A red bonnet means 300 to 499 gpm, orange means 500 to 999 gpm, green means 1000 to 1499 gpm and sky blue means 1500 and up is available.
"During regular shifts, on down time, one of the guys will go out and work on hydrants. The other guy will cover calls," Lathrop said. "In the event that there is a call, he can pack stuff up and still respond."
Next year, the fire department plans to paint hydrants in the Second Ward and will address the Third Ward the following year, and the Fourth Ward the year after.