How And When to Conduct a Flow Test

Do you need a water flow test? When water flow is needed in hydrants, a flow test is needed to determine the amount of available water. There are numerous reasons why a person may need to conduct a hydrant flow test, some of which we’ll look at below.

Reasons to Perform a Flow Test

Common reasons to conduct a flow test include:

·    To determine conditions of water in the distribution system

·    To determine the availability of water for new fire sprinkler systems

·    To plan for firefighting activities

·    To determine design needs for fire sprinklers

hydrant flow test

·    To evaluate main water extensions

The reasons to conduct the flow test listed here are among the many reasons this test is performed.  There are many other reasons that a flow test may be needed in addition to what’s listed here. There are several procedures that can be used to determine the water accuracy and data. Sometimes the information is used to water system planning and design or by municipalities that determine water capabilities.

When to Schedule a Flow Test

How often should a flow test be performed?  The AWWA recommends that flow tests be conducted once every 10 years, or every 5 years for flow testing of exposed or underground piping, per the NFPA. There are a couple of types of flow tests that can be performed. One is a Main Capacity Test and the second is a Hydrant Capacity test. The main capacity test determines the water supply available in the water main. The secondary test determines the hydrant flow rate.

The Last Word

A flow test is an important procedure that determines water availability in emergencies and in numerous other situations.  Make sure to schedule the test as indicated per law and follow rules!

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