Ottawa Construction News special feature
Established in 1997 as a private sector hydrant company, Lakeshore Hydrant Services (LHS) Inc. has grown to be a full service provider offering hydrant and valve services and products, and training opportunities to engineers, municipalities and owners.
Bob Cowin established the company based on his 35-year history as a utility water operator. He said over time, the company’s range of services has grown to include hydrant inspection and repair, fire flow testing, valve inspection and repair, vacuum services for repair or cleaning of valve boxes, compliance or occupancy permit inspections and training for water operators, fire departments and municipal staff.
The company’s involvement with and communication with water utilities and fire services is just one aspect that makes LHS Inc. different, he says. “We were the first to employ MOECC (Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change) certified water operators and our new dry hydrant and cistern inspection and certification program complies with NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) 1142.”
From its location in Cobourg, Cowin says the company serves eastern Ontario from Georgian Bay to the Muskokas and from its Ottawa location, from the Ottawa Valley to the St. Lawrence Seaway.
He says with the greater focus on the environment and awareness of health, his team has become drinking water professionals. “It’s no longer just about fire hydrants, it’s also about quality drinking water that our utilities provide, and ensuring its quality to the taps of our customers.”
As it diversified its services, LHS Inc. also branched into developing its own products to serve the industry. “Our Hydrant Sock is a unique product invented and developed by LHS and patented in the U.S. and Canada. It is used by utilities across North America and allows them to flush hydrants discreetly and without causing property damage.”
He says the company’s newest product, the Pretzel Hydrant Marker, is being used by municipalities across Canada to quickly locate fire hydrants in snow, tall grass and bushes. Both products are Canadian made.
“As a drinking water operator for 40 years, I am proud of the company I have built and its reputation across Ontario. This could only happen because of our dedicated staff and our team of outside contractors and consultants, the Northumberland Business Advisory Centre, our accountant, graphics and IT people.”
The best testimonial, he says, is LHS clients who have been with the company since the start.
LHS has conducted ongoing work for the City of Rockland and for Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) completing hydrant and valve repairs. The company is also completed work in Alexandria completing valve and leak detection and flushing and fire flow testing.
LHS Inc. is a member of the NFPA, American Water Works Association (AWWA) and Ontario Water Works Association (OWWA). Cowin says the company is active in the associations, both to ensure it is current on changing requirements and to ensure the company, and its clients, have a voice in change.
For more information, visit lakeshorehydrantservices.com.