Water Quality & System Information : Fire Hydrant Colors

Why are fire hydrants painted different colors?

In Brushy Creek, fire hydrant barrels (the body) that the District are responsible for are painted silver. This is to differentiate them from City of Round Rock, Fern Bluff and private commercial properties that are painted red. The caps of the hydrants are painted different colors to represent pressure. A color is assigned to each hydrant to convey how well it performs as a source of water for firefighting and other uses. The color denotes how much water is available from the hydrant in Gallons Per Minute (GPM). This assists the fire fighters in determining what type of equipment to connect to a hydrant. If a hydrant is painted black this signifies that it has been taken off line. The table that follows indicates the cap color and the corresponding GPM that a hydrant maintained by the District can produce. These colors are the recommended practice from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

District staff maintain hydrants and tests them on an annual basis. This testing consists of flow testing each hydrant, ensuring that moving parts are in working order, and that the caps and chains are in place.  During this annual maintenance the hydrants will also be re-painted, if necessary.

Cap Color NFPA Approval GPM 
Blue Very Good Flow  1500 and Higher
 Green Good for Residential 1000 to 1500
 Orange Adequate 500 to 999
 Red Inadequate Below 500