New Technology Instantly Locates and Reports Hydrant Features

AMERICAN and Trimble Navigation have teamed up to bring utilities Hydrant Inspector, a new asset management tool for capturing and tracking information about AMERICAN hydrants.

“Hydrant Inspector is the first-of-its-kind on the market,” says John Hagelskamp, assistant sales manager of the American Flow Control division. “This system has the potential to greatly enhance how utilities plan for and manage their infrastructure.”

Hydrant Inspector uses barcode technology and handheld Trimble devices to retrieve information about American-Darling and Waterous hydrants, which are manufactured by AMERICAN. Each hydrant is tagged with a unique barcode that links to a database of information containing 15 key data points about that particular hydrant, including attributes such as year, model number, nozzle and thread configurations, depth of cover, size of main valve opening and opening direction.

“This system has the potential to greatly enhance how utilities plan for and manage their infrastructure.”
John Hagelskamp, Assistant Sales Manager of the American Flow Control Division

Once installed, the GPS coordinates for the hydrant can become the hydrant’s unique identifier in the system, or the utility can continue to use its current marking system.

“With Hydrant Inspector, utilities have everything they need to locate, record and track information specific to the hydrant,” Hagelskamp says. “Using the handheld device, data can be added in the field, allowing utilities to easily store and access up-to-date information about the hydrant’s maintenance.”

This information is easily integrated with a desktop and/or Geographic Information Systems (GIS) database, a mapping system used to map the location of underground pipelines, hydrants and other infrastructure.

“Utilities are increasingly focused on ways to improve efficiencies and better manage their assets, and having the right information – when you need it – is key to doing that,” Hagelskamp says. “Hydrant Inspector was designed just for that purpose.”


Founded in 1905 in Birmingham, Ala., AMERICAN is a manufacturer of fire hydrants, valves and ductile iron pipe for the waterworks industry and electric-resistance steel pipe for the oil and natural gas industries. AMERICAN’s diversified product line also includes spiral-welded steel pipe and fire pumps.

The American Flow Control division was established in 1991 when AMERICAN merged its hydrant and valve subsidiaries, Waterous Company in South St. Paul, Minn., and American-Darling, in Beaumont, Texas. These companies, founded in the 1800s, bring nearly three centuries of experience, innovation and know-how to the waterworks and fire protection industries.

About Trimble Navigation, Ltd.

Trimble is a leading provider of advanced positioning solutions that maximize productivity and enhance profitability. Trimble integrates a wide range of positioning technologies including GPS, laser, optical and inertial technologies with application software, wireless communications, and services to provide complete commercial solutions. Its integrated solutions allow customers to collect, manage and analyze complex information faster and easier, making them more productive, efficient and profitable.