Using GIS to Assist with Fire Hydrant Maintenance

The Des Plaines Public Works & Engineering Department is tasked with maintaining a majority of the fire hydrants found in the city.  It’s important that they are well maintained, so in case of an emergency the Fire Department can count on the equipment to function properly.  Hydrants are cared for every other year; therefore hydrants are checked in either even or odd years. 


Historically, the Public Works department would color, with markers, the hydrants on a citywide water system map based on their maintenance year (even or odd).  If changes were ever made to the maintenance schedule they would color a new map and post it to the wall.  In order to make this process more efficient and with a lot less manually input, the data was digitized and entered into GIS.  The even and odd year maintenance areas were drawn in and when updates are needed the information will simply be changed in the GIS data rather than having to re-do the entire system map.

The newly created hydrant maintenance maps were printed off and given to the maintenance crews to keep in their vehicles while doing inspections.  The secretary who previously was tasked with coloring the maps is very excited to spend her time on more pressing issues.