Clog Report: Fire hydrants to be modified after flooding

Aura Barrera/Staff

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On Oct. 19, 21 Foothill and Stern Hall residents were evacuated because of flooding caused by a driver hitting a fire hydrant, unleashing hundreds of gallons of water toward the residence halls.

In an attempt to minimize the occurrence of these events in the future, UC Berkeley’s Caustic Committee plans on modifying the current fire hydrants. “The main goal behind modifying the fire hydrants is to make sure people do not hit them,” said committee member Flowy Rivers.

There have been numerous ideas suggested in order to achieve this goal. Some citizens have suggested making the hydrants multicolored instead of just red. “If fire zones are designated not just by red, but by a whole array of colors spanning the visible spectrum of light, they will be nearly impossible to miss,” said Berkeley resident Candice Befixed. “In comparison, this solution is much cheaper to implement than other solutions.”

One of these relatively expensive solutions would be changing the chemical composition of the fire hydrant. “Depending on the Caustic Committee’s budget, we could incorporate new materials into the hydrant to make it collision-proof,” said John Boron, UC Berkeley College of Chemistry professor. “If the committee’s budget is high, then we can provide the committee with a new experimental compound that essentially acts as a very strong remote-controlled variable magnet. As the vehicle is headed towards the hydrant, a magnetic field emanating from the hydrant would be activated. Additionally, with each foot that the vehicle gets closer, the field’s strength would get stronger. Eventually, the car would cease to move due to the stopping power of the magnetic field, avoiding collisions.”

Changing the material of the hydrant is not the only way to fix the problem. Another way that collisions could be avoided is by spreading super glue all around the fire hydrant. This super glue moat of sorts would not be nearly as expensive as developing a new material in bulk and creating entirely new fire hydrants out of it. It would minimize collisions by stopping cars before they have the chance to hit the hydrant, essentially acting as a jankier, more inexpensive and more easily implementable form of the hydrant-magnet idea. One downside would be students accidentally walking over the super glue and getting stuck, but this is not a major issue since surely, UC Berkeley students are smarter than that.

Ultimately, none of the current solutions are efficient enough or cheap enough to be permanently implemented. The ideal solution to this problem is still to be determined, and work has already begun on further research and development. These solutions are the best at the moment, however, and so until better ones come along, these solutions are the ones we must get accustomed to.

This is a satirical article written purely for entertainment purposes.

Contact Hamzah Alam at [email protected].