Mueller milestone: 4 million Albertville-made fire hydrants

Mueller milestone: 4 million Albertville-made fire hydrants
Freshly painted fire hydrants pass through the drying oven at Mueller Co's Albertville plant. (Mueller Co.)

Mueller Co. is marking a major milestone in the Alabama city it turned into the “Fire Hydrant Capital of the World” – the 4 millionth hydrant off its Albertville production line.

To highlight the achievement, Mueller officials held a celebration last week for employees, family members, retirees, community leaders, legislators and others at the company’s manufacturing facility.

Mueller Co. is one of Marshall County’s largest employers, with almost 500 workers at its Albertville plant. (Mueller Co.)

Mueller’s Albertville plant, which launched production 40 years ago, has 490 workers, making it one of the top employers in Marshall County.

“We are proud members of the Albertville business community and appreciate the city’s support over the years,” said Mueller plant manager Randy Epperson. “We also acknowledge that no company is successful without great employees who work hard and are committed to excellent customer service.

“Full speed ahead to 5 million!” he added.

Melody Whitten, Albertville’s director of economic development, said the Mueller plant continues to make substantial contributions to the northeast Alabama community of 22,000 residents.

“In the 40 years that Mueller has operated a plant in Albertville, they have employed thousands of citizens, supported many civic and charitable causes and served as an economic engine for Albertville,” she said.

‘Fire Hydrant Capital’

The first Albertville-made fire hydrant moves down the line at the Mueller plant 40 years ago. (Mueller Co.)
The first Albertville-made fire hydrant moves down the line at the Mueller plant 40 years ago. (Mueller Co.)

Mueller’s Albertville plant was built in 1975, with production starting the next year. On April 10, 1990, the facility produced its 1 millionth hydrant, which was given a special coating of chrome and placed on display across from the Albertville Chamber of Commerce.

This Mueller milestone led to Albertville’s widely shared status as the “Fire Hydrant Capital of the World.”

“Mueller placed Albertville ‘on the map,’ so to speak, as Mueller Albertville is seen on each and every fire hydrant they produce and ship worldwide,” Mayor Tracy Honea said last week. “We are happy to celebrate this achievement with them and wish them many more successes.”

In 1999, the Mueller plant hit the 2 million milestone, followed by its 3 millionth hydrant in 2007. The Albertville plant produced No. 4 million in July, and it’s now receiving a special coating so it too can be placed on display in the city.

 (Mueller Co.)
The Mueller plant produces 700 fire hydrants a day, and they carry the name of Albertville all over the world. (Mueller Co.)

Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, congratulated Epperson and the Mueller workforce for the accomplishment.

“This production milestone is another tremendous achievement for Mueller’s Albertville plant, which has operated as a significant economic force in Marshall County for four decades,” Canfield said.

“I congratulate Mueller’s leadership in Albertville and look forward to the day when the facility turns out its 5 millionth fire hydrant, made right here in Alabama.”

Epperson said the Alabama plant has been highly productive since its early days, and he credited its employees for its production capabilities.

“The goal was to have a facility capable of producing 350 hydrants per day,” he said. “With advancements in technology and our employees’ commitment to continuously improving the way we do business, we have been able to produce double that amount in a single day.”

This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.

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