Fire Engineering highlights a very real, and often under recognized problem:

“Supplemental pumping is the key ingredient for a large-flow water delivery operation, especially when distant hydrants are needed to supply engines already operating and in need of more water. Often at large fires, the first few units will lay from hydrants close to the fire and spot in the area needed. This is when a water supply problem usually starts. These units have everything they need to attack the fire. They have the personnel, correct apparatus placement, and proper deployment of the discharge evolutions. Since these units brought in hydrants close to the fireground, the hydrant grid system in that area is becoming depleted of water or pressure.”

Recently, we were approached for water supply and sprinkler analysis by a chemical manufacturer who was retrofitting a manufacturing plant to fit their needs. They faced potential delays due to possible inadequacies in their fire protection systems. The local fire marshal, who understood the need for proper water flow, questioned whether or not the existing water supply infrastructure would be adequate for the sprinkler system. Our fire protection consultants were responsible for the investigation process, the identification of hazards, and the determination of appropriate protection requirements. Beyond the standard testing protocol and analysis, our fire protection services included the testing of the fire pump, the flow of the private yard hydrants, and the hydraulic grade. Fortunately, we were able to prove to the fire marshal’s satisfaction that the fire water supply was in fact adequate. Through proper investigation, demonstration and AHJ management, we eliminated the potential for a costly delay in construction.

By Jeff Harrington, CEO and Founder of Harrington Group, Inc.