Four hydrants at Stores

SJW has been providing high quality, reliable drinking water to customers since 1866. But, did you know that we’ve been providing water for fire protection for just as long? When we were granted exclusive rights to run water mains under the streets of San Jose, one of the conditions was to provide water for fire protection.

We take our commitment to fire protection for more than a million people in our service area very seriously. One of the ongoing programs to ensure water is available for fire fighting needs is our Hydrant Replacement Program.

Over time, parts within a fire hydrant can deteriorate. We regularly replace parts to extend the life of a fire hydrant. However, there comes a time when the fire hydrant must be replaced entirely.

Distribution Services crews conduct the annual hydrant replacement program as part of our capital improvement program initiatives.

Our crews typically replace between 80 and 100 hydrants per year. They range in age and are replaced with Mueller or Clow hydrants per SJW specifications. Over $1 million per year is allotted to this program, which ensures proper fire protection and conserves the integrity of the distribution system.

4 SJW workers with hydrant
Hydrant replacement excavation site
Left: An industry representative leading a training session for the proper installation of a new hydrant model. Right: A deep excavation is necessary to replace a new hydrant at the proper depth to connect to the water main.