Optimised hydrant security

AVK hydrant security goes from strength to strength series 29/10. The device has proven to be 100 % successful 27-10-2016

AVK launched our latest hydrant security device in 2014, working closely with United Utilities Operations and initially placed several units under trial in an area of severe hydrant abuse in Liverpool. It was tested against the industries standard outlet protection, protecting the outlet only and manufactured from a plastic outer shell and metal internal core. Following a period of two weeks, every single one of the non-AVK outlet caps were either forcibly removed or damaged beyond use.

The AVK device however proved 100 % successful, offering resistance to attempts to remove the device.

Following on from these trials United Utilities adopted the Series 29/10 security device as their standard hydrant security to combat illegal use and general vandalism throughout their operational areas. They have proved so successful that United Utilities have noted a significant reduction in hydrant abuse call outs, reduction in water discoloration issues and stopping illegal use of water draw off from non-designated hydrants.

Working closely with United Utilities has allowed AVK to adapt the device for variations in field use. This includes creating a “universal” version to fit older hydrants and non-BS750 units. Identify leaking hydrants via cap design and serial numbering keys to ensure control of their ownership/issue. Lorraine Murtagh of United Utilities stated;

"[the devices] have proved successful and reduced massively the number of call outs we have had with the AVK caps to be the most successful devices used."

Since the initial launch, United Utilities have installed several thousands of these units and several more thousand units are now being used by DCWW, with South East Water and Northumbrian Water solving specific local problem; hydrant abuse/illegal access and on various private sites, including harbours and film studios! Various utilities are taking them to trial with the most recent trails held by Thames Water on a location with a proven history of illegal use; again 100 % successful in stopping their use.

Cooperation and involvement of the relevant fire brigades is imperative to their successful adoption. We are pleased to advise that all fire brigades involved, in field trials or full field use, have benefited from the security of knowing that when required the hydrant will be available and fully operational.

Several major utilities are currently investigating security devices and with existing units either being easily removed by non-authorised persons or vandalism, a solution that can be relied upon is required. Early field trials are expected to commence during August, but initial in-house testing has resulted in Operations being defeated in removing the device.

Looking forward
From now on, protection of the fire hydrant will be a key factor in helping to maintain water quality and avoiding water discoloration issues which are key to many Water companies AMP6 objectives. Whilst the law is clear on illegal use of hydrants, more reports are being seen of water utilities personnel being attacked when trying to close off hydrants that have been set off by “children”. To protect the field staff and avoid water discoloration issues, hydrant protection will need to be addressed.

In relation to these issues and assuming it takes two hours for an open hydrant to be reported, attend on site and close the hydrant, this would result in potentially upwards of 150,000 liters of potable water lost, excluding any associated damage to the immediate area plus the utilities time to attend on site.

The AVK security device protects the outlet and the operating spindle on the majority of hydrants currently installed within an industry where some hydrants date back to over 60+ years old!

Only AVK can offer a 100 % protection to the hydrant and can claim 100 % resistance to illegal attempts to remove.