Each year in Southeastern Pennsylvania, thousands of dollars in damages occur to homes and personal property as well as sadly, the loss of life.
Since there are not many public pressurized water systems in rural areas, fire companies need to haul water long distances in order to control fires. Besides the time spent traveling to and from the water source to refill the water tankers, expensive fuel is being burned up by the trucks. Having easily accessible water available, particularly in the winter months, is also important to the fire fighters.
To help protect communities and facilitate fire fighting efforts, the Southeastern PA RC&D Council Area, led a project to strategically install dry fire hydrants throughout the region.
Dry fire hydrants are non-pressurized pipe systems that provide a quick and safe way for fire companies to obtain water from ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers. Fire companies hook up a hose from the fire truck or water tanker directly to the dry fire hydrant and withdraw water by suction from the water source.
The dry fire hydrant pipes are permanently installed underground with only the hydrant head sticking above the ground. An intake strainer pipe extends out into the water source below the surface.
Additional benefits of dry fire hydrants can include potentially lower insurance rates for property owners, conservation of drinking water reservoirs during times of droughts, and use of water for dust control on construction sites or unpaved roads.
Funding for the project was provided by the US Forest Service in cooperation with the PA DCNR Bureau of Forestry.