Missouri American repaints fire hydrants in Crestwood and across St. Louis County

Missouri American repaints fire hydrants in Crestwood and across St. Louis County

More than 1,000 fire hydrants across St. Louis County received a fresh coat of paint as Missouri American Water invests in infrastructure maintenance, the utility announced Tuesday.

Missouri American Water’s efforts in St. Louis County included repainting 406 hydrants in Crestwood, 106 hydrants in Normandy, 243 in Maplewood and 303 in Bellefontaine Neighbors.

“Since our pipes are buried beneath the ground, fire hydrants are one of the most visible parts of our water system,” said Bethany Jenkins, operations supervisor of restoration for Missouri American Water, in a news release. “We not only want to improve the appearance of old hydrants, but also help firefighters work swiftly during an emergency. The different colors painted on fire hydrants allow our first responders know how much water comes out of the hydrant.”

The hydrant painting process involves sandblasting to remove the old paint, priming the hydrant, which is white, then returning days later to apply a fresh coat of paint to the hydrant to meet the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) standards.

The NFPA’s standardized hydrant color coding signifies fire flow, or the quantity of water available for fire protection. Missouri American Water urges customers to notify them of any beautification and maintenance requests.

“Fire hydrants may seem like minor parts of a water system; however, they act as a coding system for our firefighters. It helps us put out fires quickly and efficiently,” said Chief Keith Goldstein of North County Fire and Rescue Fire Protection District.

The decision to repaint so many hydrants in Crestwood comes after a member of the city’s Board of Aldermen, Tony Kennedy, objected in September to the appearance of various aspects of the city, from fire hydrants to basketball hoops in parks, and the city contacted Missouri American Water to ask about the hydrants. City Administrator Kris Simpson later told The Call that the fire hydrants mentioned by Kennedy were reported to Missouri American Water, but that they were actually located outside of Crestwood city limits and therefore have not been reinspected because they are outside the city’s oversight.

But Missouri American told Simpson at the time that the utility had the funding to repaint the hydrants and would start the project soon.