The Village of Oak Park | 123 Madison St.  Oak Park, IL 60302 |

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Fire Department testing fire hydrants

May 9, 2024 - The Oak Park Fire Department has begun testing fire hydrants as part of a routine procedure that is expected to continue periodically all summer to ensure proper operations of these vital emergency response devices.

Crews will be out from now until the end of September inspecting, flushing and measuring flow rates on all 1,240 fire hydrants in the Village. The inspections also will make sure all hydrants are accessible and not damaged in any way.

Residents on the same water line may notice cloudy water the first time a tap is opened after a nearby test. Officials say any cloudiness in the water should clear up if the tap is allowed to run for a few minutes.

The test entails attaching a short hose with a diverter to the hydrant. The hose and diverter help make sure the rush of water from the hydrant goes into the street and does not damage any nearby landscaping.

A gauge attached to the hydrant provides water flow data that is recorded and compared to data from the same hydrant compiled over the previous five years. The comparison can help identify any changes in pressure that could indicate a problem with the water supply system that needs to be investigated, according to Fire Department officials.

For more information on the hydrant testing, call 708.358.5600 or email

Fun Fact: The word hydrant seems to appear for the first time in connection with Philadelphia’s ambitious municipal water system, which began construction in 1799. The Philadelphia waterworks, which employed steam pumps to draw water from the Schuylkill River, supplied a system of hydrants, which at least initially were used both for firefighting and as a source of sanitary water for the city’s poor. The hydrant consisted of a cast-iron standpipe enclosed in a polygonal wooden housing. When hoses began to replace the city’s bucket brigades after 1803, the hydrants were outfitted with suitable discharge nozzle.