By: Gillian Sloan

Question: What do the different colors of fire hydrants mean?

Color means everything when it comes to fire hydrants.

OCWA, Central New York’s Water Authority, has begun its summertime hydrant painting and maintenance program and they want to answer the long time, unanswered question of, “What do those colors mean?” regarding hydrants around its five county service territory.

While hydrants themselves are fairly standard, how much water a hydrant can put out varies wildly – thus the colors. A hydrant with a red top is the least, followed by orange, then green and blue indicates the most water available. The colors also vary depending on who owns the hydrant.

The table below shows the OCWA Hydrant Color Code for OCWA-owned hydrants throughout our service territory.









In short, hydrants are very important to everyone in the region ranging from fire fighters to property owners. OCWA wants everyone who has one in their yard or property to make sure there are no obstacles that would obscure or hinder testing, maintenance or the use during a fire.

If you have any questions regarding hydrants in your area, please contact us by phone at 315-455-7061 x3335 or come see us at 200 Northern Concourse Water Authority, Syracuse, NY 13212.

Map below shows the OCWA hydrant/meter user area.