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Strange town water system

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  • Strange town water system

    There was a call in our county but the next town over that I was introduced to something new. I was wondering if other places have strange setups like this also.

    The town takes there reclaimed sewage water and uses it for fire fighting, golf course, and for industrial plants, and the county park. I remember 10 years ago when they put in a water tower for the system and they replaced a lot of fire hydrants with lavender hydrants.

    What I did not realize is the pumping system is under sized and is not able to keep up for larger fire fighting needs. I was told there pumping system can maintain a flow of 300gpm for fire fighting depending on the time of day. When the fire department needs a larger flow they are responsible to pump the needed flow.

    The call was a 24 unit apartment fire with smoke showing at the roof and 2 windows. Dispatch called out there department and ours. They sent there engine, wagon, and support truck. There mini pumper went to the treatment plant (there pumper was out of service but would have gone also). We sent out engine and wagon. I think they called out 2 ALS and 4 BLS buses.

    There was about 2 minutes of radio traffic between unites marking in rout and the other station telling us where they wanted us to park. Then the strange call asking for the shortest truck we have with a 1000gpm pump, 20' 6” draft, 5” outlet, and 50' 5” hose to come to there water treatment plant about 3 miles from the fire.

    They had me draft from there recycled water holding tank and pump it into the distribution lines. During the 3 hours I was there I learned more on how the system worked and got a tour of the sewage plant before I left.

    Dose anyone else run into a hydrant system where the fire department pumps water into the hydrant system?
    Is there a name for this system or a way to look it up to learn more?
    Last edited by gravelroad; 04-21-2011, 12:21 AM. Reason: spelling issues...

  • #2
    Thats a real SCHITTY situation ! :-}

    When I was stationed in western Australia with the navy, we had the same type of system. All of our fresh water came from a Reverse osmosis plant so we reclaimed all the grey & black water for firefighting and irrigation needs. We had an 8" main fed by a 2500 gallon per minute pump so we didn't have to use an engine to feed the system with sufficient flow.

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    • #3
      do they have a hydrant system supplied by potable water also? Have to be careful about keeping things segregated. Even with check valves you don't want to risk mixing the grey water with the potable water hydrants.

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      • #4
        yup, had one

        Several tears ago we had a similar one, hydrants on the line from the plant to the spray fields. Was only good for 5 to 7 hundred gpm, and no way to boost. water was supposedly drinkable. The EPA came in and had a fit, THEY did not approve that water to be used for that (it might be contaminated). Hydrants are painted a different color and are ignored.

        (slight rant) What contaminates water more than putting it on something burning?

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        • #5
          I remember years ago when they started the recycled water program. The county ran out of before they finished the project. From what I can remember from the news paper they didn't finish the pumping plant but installed a bypass system for the fire department. The water in the system and we were drafting is what they release into the river.

          I think the system had dual 500HP pumps but only one was generator back up. They didn't say how many GPM the pumps were or how many gallons a month they pumped. The system is able to handle house fires with out needed extra pumping but with larger fires it will not keep up. I'm trying to find the news paper article, and have a few emails out to people that run in that town seeing if they have more info.


          They do have portable water hydrants in the town. There painted silver and are at least to be 500' away form the lavender hydrants. I'm sure there properly trained (but now I want more training).

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          • #6
            Originally posted by gravelroad View Post
            The call was a 24 unit apartment fire with smoke showing at the roof and 2 windows. Dispatch called out there department and ours. They sent there engine, wagon, and sprout truck. There mini pumper went to the treatment plant (there pumper was out of service but would have gone also). We sent out engine and wagon. I think they called out 2 ALS and 4 BLS buses.
            OK, I've been to departments in EVERY corner of Virginia (SW VA a couple of times a year), and have never heard the term sprout truck used...is that another name for a brush truck?

            BTW, welcome to the forums!
            Last edited by BoxAlarm187; 04-21-2011, 12:17 AM.
            Career Fire Captain
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            Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

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            • #7
              My moneys on SUPPORT truck.
              ?

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              • #8
                I thought I typed support truck. I guess I did not re read what I typed after spell check. They have a box truck loaded with odds and ends they send out to large calls in the county.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gravelroad View Post
                  I thought I typed support truck. I guess I did not re read what I typed after spell check. They have a box truck loaded with odds and ends they send out to large calls in the county.
                  Gotcha! I'll be PMing you about something else shortly.
                  Career Fire Captain
                  Volunteer Chief Officer


                  Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gravelroad View Post
                    I remember years ago when they started the recycled water program. The county ran out of before they finished the project. From what I can remember from the news paper they didn't finish the pumping plant but installed a bypass system for the fire department. The water in the system and we were drafting is what they release into the river.

                    I think the system had dual 500HP pumps but only one was generator back up. They didn't say how many GPM the pumps were or how many gallons a month they pumped. The system is able to handle house fires with out needed extra pumping but with larger fires it will not keep up. I'm trying to find the news paper article, and have a few emails out to people that run in that town seeing if they have more info.


                    They do have portable (potable (drinkable)) water hydrants in the town. There painted silver and are at least to be 500' away form the lavender hydrants. I'm sure there properly trained (but now I want more training).
                    More likely are 25hp pumps. We have 2x 40hp electric pumps rated at 750gpm at around 250ft head).

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