Fire hydrants that are being painted in the northwest portion of Evanston are white, and our readers have been asking us why they are not red as before. Here’s the answer provided by the city:

First of all, they point out that the painting contract area is bounded by Simpson Street on the south, Walnut and McDaniel avenues on the east, and the city boundaries on the north and west.

As for the colors, here is what the city said back in June:

“First, the contractor will sandblast to remove the old layers of paint. A layer of primer will be applied shortly afterward, followed by two finish coats of paint. Each coat of primer and paint is a different color to make it easier for the contractor to ensure good paint coverage and for the City to monitor the contractor’s progress.

“Only the final surface coat will be red.”

So never fear: The hydrants will eventually be covered with a bright, hopefully long-lasting, coat of red paint, easily seen by firefighters in their rush to contain a blaze.

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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