Painting contractor gives fresh look to fire hydrants


June 10, 1999|By Joni Guhne | Joni Guhne,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THEY ARRIVE BY caravan -- four men, a truck pulling two trailers, plus an extra car or two.

"I thought there was a problem with the water main," said a curious neighbor attracted by the unusual entourage.

Despite the "ET" suits and hooded face masks, the workers weren't plumbers or space travelers. They're specialized painters from K & K Painting and Contracting of Baltimore, and their job is to strip and repaint fire hydrants.

Each crew is equipped with a blast machine, air purifier, dust collector, vacuum and paint.

The old paint contained lead, the reason for all the caution and equipment. The ground around the hydrants is protected by a large, circular rubber pad. The air is protected from lead dust by a fiberglass dome large enough to accommodate the hydrant and painter.

The hydrant is blasted clean with a sponge jet, which produces less dust, said Angelo Kaliakoudas, owner of the company since 1973.

The dust is vacuumed into containers on the truck, the dome and pad are removed and the area is cleaned.

Anne Arundel County hired the Baltimore firm last year to test-paint 18 hydrants.

The crews are in Central County applying the most durable paint to 255 hydrants, with a potential of thousands more to do.

On some properties, landscaping has come within the 4-foot radius of the hydrants owned by the county. Because the painters try not to harm the plants, it takes them longer to complete their work, and they struggle to meet their average of four hydrants a day.

The hydrants are primed with white paint, awaiting two more coats that will produce the familiar bright yellow landmarks.

I prefer what several Maryland jurisdictions did in 1976 when they painted little military men on the hydrants.

Mothers club meets

The MOMS Club that began in April in Severna Park is growing like a healthy toddler.

With a membership of nearly 60, the club for mothers and their children meets next at 10: 30 a.m. June 17 at Woods Community Center. A speaker from the Poison Control Center will discuss summer dangers to children.

Meetings are planned for the third Thursday or the third Friday of the month for the convenience of working mothers. The meetings include mother-and-child activities.

The club has a monthly newsletter. MOMS is an acronym for Moms Offering Moms Support.

Information: Catherine Moore at 410-384-7347.

Summer concerts

The Community Center at Woods will inaugurate its new summer outdoor concert series for seniors with a presentation by the Severna Park Bums from noon to 1: 30 p.m. June 22.

Music and refreshments are free.

All activities will be moved inside in case of rain.

Information: 410-647-5843.

Pub Date: 6/10/99

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