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  1. #1
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    Default Rural Hydrant plan

    Finding water supply not listed elsewhere I'm post my topic here.

    I'm looking for opinion, AND more importantly, references to standards for rural hydrant installation planning. Assume midwest farm country, widely spaced individual residences/farmsteads or in clusters of 2,3, or 4 such within a 1/4 mile radius. Gravel road grid on 1mi squares.

    Issue is writing a reasonable standard for fire hydrants for a proposed rural water transmission/distribution project. Each hydrant install costs $1500-2000 that has to be financed. Looking for "industry standards".

    State Law. Reads "shall establish a rural fire protection program which shall include, but is not limited to, providing access to designated soft-hose fill stations". Well what the heck does that require? Nothing except what we can require.

    Potential std might be "1000gpm hydrant will located at the center of any circle with radius 1500' that contains 3 or more houses". Or perhaps every intersection should have a hydrant which while logically is much less economical and shows no planning. We are not going to get far with the ISO standard of a hydrant within 300ft of each building.

    I'm willing to consider lay LDH 2-3000' (assuming I can finance purchase) from hydrants located near any housing cluster or up long farm entry drive/lane. Large fires or fires at more remote farms to use tanker shuttle. If hydrants located at road intersection most use would be for tanker fill (no LDH lay).

    What do you say? What is the "industry standard".


  2. #2
    Senior Member Firebraun's Avatar
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    Try contacting the NFPA. Last I heard they had a lot of "standards" that are pretty much accepted as "industry standards" in this biz...
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  3. #3
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    Dont know the industry standards-- but here are a few rules of thumb we use--
    6" min -- looped whenever possible
    Three outlets -Dont let em tell you the system cant support LDH-- a weak system needs steamers as much if not more than a hot system-even you dont use LDH-an engine at the plug with a soft sleeve can save the day.
    If they are to be used as tanker fills- spot em in a flat area-away from blind curves and hills and I know you would think this is a given--- but insist that they be on the road side of the fence if at all possible-if not spec that the fence is boxed out around it. Dont assume that the engineers designing your water system know (or care) about fire protection.

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    Oh yea-reading between the lines on the "soft hose fill stations" be ready for them to refuse to install 3ways- most rural water lines are so poorly built that they are terrifed that you will hook your hard sleeves to the steamer and create negative pressure on the system-- cross your heart and promise to never use a hard sleeve and maybe youll convince em. We insisted on 3 ways got em but they still tried to install em facing away from the road

  5. #5
    Forum Member martinm's Avatar
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    Default

    Not strictly on the topic you have posted, but thought you might be interested.

    We are a semi rural fire service with large areas covered by numerous, but spaced out, hydrants. Finding them in the dark at a job is never easy (ours are sunk into the ground, and I know yours won't be), but we have a way to save a few minutes on searching for if they are some distance from the incident.

    All our hydrants are now on a GPS system, and each engine carries a GPS navigator with it. Instead of fruitless minutes looking up and down roads, some times in heavy smoke, or foggy conditions, we just check the number in the hydrant location book and set the GPS away, which tells us which way to go and when to stop.

    Just thought this might help if you are planning a new series of installations.
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  6. #6
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    Originally posted by slackjawedyokel
    Dont know the industry standards-- but here are a few rules of thumb we use--
    6" min -- looped whenever possible
    Three outlets -Dont let em tell you the system cant support LDH-- a weak system needs steamers as much if not more than a hot system-even you dont use LDH-an engine at the plug with a soft sleeve can save the day.
    If they are to be used as tanker fills- spot em in a flat area-away from blind curves and hills and I know you would think this is a given--- but insist that they be on the road side of the fence if at all possible-if not spec that the fence is boxed out around it. Dont assume that the engineers designing your water system know (or care) about fire protection.

    What are your requirements for hydrant location?
    Flow? (to meet ISO flow requirements for structures within ____ft? or what ever comes out is all there is?).
    If new structures are constructed in the rural area do you require installation of new hydrant? At who's expense?

    This is a new rural system. A new city system as well as at present we only have private wells. I'm insisting that the proposed town water system meets ISO std for hydrant placement with minimum of 1000gpm (8" main)which will meet the ISO requirements for our building size/type. USDA/Rural water insists on putting in 3" tubing for distribution mains (what a joke) in order to reduce cost by about 10%.

    Hydrants to have at a minimum 1x 5" Storz.

    Anyone have referance to consolidated list of available hydrant specs? For example: who, if anyone makes a dry barrel hydrant with 2x 5" Storz + 1x 2.5"?

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber jaybird210's Avatar
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    Default Water, water everywhere

    NFPA 1142 Standard on Water Supplies for Rural and Suburban Firefighting.

    neiowa has some great ideas also on hydrant specs. You CAN spec a hydrant w/ storz fittings. If you are building from scratch, ABSOLUTELY DO THIS. At 2am when you can get water flowing in 15 secs, that's pretty cool.

    Also, slackjaw is right on de money with his thoughts on LDH,multiple steamers, and spotting/positioning of hydrants.

    ISO has requirements as far as distance allowed from a hydrant with LDH and appropriate SOPs to support it's use (up to 1000'). Make sure you read and understand these standards in your design; you might be able to save some money on design AND get full credit.

    USDA/Rural water insists on putting in 3" tubing for distribution mains (what a joke) in order to reduce cost by about 10%.
    That's disgusting. Why are government bureaucrats spec-ing this? Three inches!!?!? What can we hope to get there? In a distribution main, maybe 400 gpm? Please. Sheesh. They are clearing focusing on potable water supply; not interested at all in fire suppression. I suppose that makes sense as that is their function. No point in looking at the big picture.....

    Martin's GPS suggestion is very good, also. What about dry hydrants and/or cisterns?
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  8. #8
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    Im not sure about NFPA standards but ISO standards for class 8 is of minimum 4" line with 4" hydrant capable of flowing 250gpm or greater. Now this is the bare minimum. ISO prefers 6" lines with 6" hydrants. ISO give each hydrant credit with in 1,000 ft. But this can be extended if you can prove you can supply 250gpm ( or your needed fire flow) for that building. We are a rural fire dept. with a 6" main running through the center of our district. But like most areas homes are spread out 1/4 of a mile or more apart and we can't afford to put a hydrant at every house. So we have put them at intersections the are flat, wide ( easy to turn tankers around) and in areas the have the most homes with in a mile radius of that interestion. Our first goal is a home with in a mile of a hydrant then over time and as money allows we will close the gap tighter.

  9. #9
    IACOJ BOD FlyingKiwi's Avatar
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    "shall establish a rural fire protection program which shall include, but is not limited to, providing access to designated soft-hose fill stations".
    OK, why Hydrants? It says NOTHING about hydrants.

    we have made a u bend of 4" aluminium that mates to our suction lines. As all rural houses in our area have tanks for collecting rain water, we can run a portable pump from the houses tank.

    Most have at least 5,000 gallons capacity, with some going over 10,000.

    Work out the number of hydrants you need multiply that by 1,500 - 2,000 dollars and see how far you would get with a dedicated tanker and drop tanks.

    Then all you need to establish are filling points, these can be located strategically through your area.

    One concept we are investigating is to use solid pvc piping from stream ponds at road bridges, drive up, hook up one length of suction and fill.

    I would have the warm fuzzies over 5 - 10,000 gallons getting dumped right beside the truck, and knowing the tanker will be back in 15 minutes with the next load.

    It also helps to have a portable pump available for the tankers for refilling relays.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    If I'm understanding this right, this is a pressurized water system, like you find in town, but for rural areas?

    ISO has requirements as far as distance allowed from a hydrant with LDH and appropriate SOPs to support it's use (up to 1000').

    That is the general rule.

    Caveat one is you have to have appropriate hose. If you have a 1500gpm hydrant, and you need 1500gpm 1000' from the hydrant, and you only have 1000' of 2.5"...you ain't gonna make it. You'll be credited for the flow the 2.5" can make, not what the hydrant can do.

    Caveat two on the other hand, you can apply for credit by demonstration (if they even require the demo...it can be as simple as a video tape). We have 2000' allowed from our hydrants based on credit-by-demo from about 10 years back, and that we have 2 trucks on the 1st alarm assignment each with at least 2500' of 5" so even if one truck is unavailable the other can make the lay.

    At the time our hydrants were first installed along the main highway to the middle of our district, my town paid a substantial annual fee per hydrant so they were spaced every 1000' to reduce the number. (At the time, each hydrant cost about $1500/hydrant/year!)

  11. #11
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    It's all confusing-make sure you have input before the install. We
    let our city water department engineers do our hydrant system.

    We have some of the problems noted. They built them right up along property owners fences. 1/2 turn at a time to open.

    They also did not put any type of culvert over some of the ditches so we can get to the hydrant. That is a safety issue going thru a four foot ditch to get to the hydrant.

    The stortz fitting is nice but about $250 added cost to the hydrantaccording to a manufacturer we had come in and do maint. training to our guys.

    Which leads to another question. Being a rural department who will do maint. on these hydrants. We are up to about 500 hydrants in our rural area and the city will not do any inspections on them only repair. Which means about 15 orf our fireman spend an added 16-20 hours a year each flushing/pumping greasing fittings and everything else we do. Who should be handling this.

    With that said sometimes less is better and bring on the tankers

  12. #12
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    Im not sure what your def. of rural is, but i know from where we are, if you can get a hydrant every 1500' radius, your doing realllllly good. We're lucky to get one every 2-5 mile radius.

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    One concept we are investigating is to use solid pvc piping from stream ponds at road bridges, drive up, hook up one length of suction and fill. FlyingKiwi
    Kiwi, this is what we refer to as a dry hydrant. In our rural area, we use 8 inch Schedule 40 PVC. The wet end has a piece of pipe that is drilled and that has a stainless steel flapper on the end for flushing back as necessary. The 8 inch is brought up to ground level and then we transition to 6 inch. We use a 6 inch head with a female end. When we need the water, we connect 6 inch suction male to the engine, female to the dry hydrant, prime and away we go.

    Not sure of your climate but our main reason for going to all this trouble is to keep everything below the 2 feet of ice that can form in our winters.

    We plant one in every pond we can and require the construction of ponds in all new developments. The developer cannot pass title to anything until we have our pond and hydrant.
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  14. #14
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    Some additional info on this project since my original post regarding the rural portion of water/hydrant plan.

    Been around every logical agency that might be involved with this issue and no one in gov't of Iowa has written a standard that defines "shall establish a rural fire protection program which shall include, but is not limited to, providing access to designated soft-hose fill stations".

    Learned that adding this to the Iowa Code in 2001 was a tradeoff so the rural water associations in Iowa could get some liablity relief if the fail to provide adequate flows TOO fire hydrants. (makes a lot of sense, NOT). No one has called the issue apparently since passage.

    So we are going to write the rural standard. I'm thinking.

    "where there exist a combinatin of three or more houses or farm sites, with significant building infrastructure, within any 3500ft radius a 1000gpm hydrant will be installed. In consultation with the water utility the fire chief will specify hydrant location, design, and installation to service these structures."

    Hydrants will be installed in public right of way no closer than 3 feet from any fence, pole, or structure. Hydrant will be no closer than 15ft to road surface and no more than 35ft from road surface Culvert/parking will be installed and maintained by county engineer to allow off road parking of fire pumper truck and will provide direct access to hydrant by foot personnel. Hydrant outlets will be installed pointing toward roadway. Only softhose suction will be used by fire department.

    In town installation planned to insure maximum score per ISO standards (max 300ft to hydrant that will support requried fire flow). All single hydrants to flow minimum of 1000gpm.

    Anyone have comments/additions? No way that we are going to get ISO 300ft as would need hydrant at every house site.

    Ideas on what hydrant outlets we should spec? I'm thinking 2x 5" Storz. As no Storz suctions used in our area this will give rural water assurance that no one is going to hook a hard suction hose up and collapse their lines. Any need for a 3rd outlet on hydrant (perhaps a 2.5"?)? In town vs rural?

    Usage of hydrant will be from hydrant supply pumper (if needed) to lay LDH to fire scene. Or alternatively to fill tanker truck. Just aquired 4500ft of LDH to support this project. Installation of 12 hydrants (appros $24000) in our 18 mi territory puts all but one house within 3500ft of a hydrant.


    Note 85%+ of the funds for this USDA town and rural water come from grant $. Balance from 40yr USDA loan. Going from a 6"/8" to 3" distribution system in my town reduces cost by 10%. They then plan to install 2each "flushing hydrants" that will flow 100-150gpm (in other words nothing useful).
    Last edited by neiowa; 07-17-2003 at 05:51 PM.

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by FlashOver12
    Im not sure what your def. of rural is, but i know from where we are, if you can get a hydrant every 1500' radius, your doing realllllly good. We're lucky to get one every 2-5 mile radius.
    At present we have NO hyrants in our town or fire district. Actually tanker run to nearest hydrant at present is 7 to 13mi one way (short term tank storage project is underway). Point here is that the rural water bozos want to run pressurized "city" water supply down every goat trail in the area and put in NO, ZERO, ZIP, NADDA for fire hydrants. Buzzzzzz wrong answer. Plan it and do it right.

    With radius spec we may have 2-3 miles between hydrants in a few locations but will have a hydrant within easy reach of every existing house/farm site. If spec is distance based will have hydrants on every corner but not necessary located within usefull distance of existing houses.

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    A proper pressurized system is your best water supply, but may be quite cost-prohibitive. A poorly-designed system will compromise flow, along with a number of other headaches.

    A rural rating will be by far the cheapest option, and is quite effective and do-able.

    We have 2000' allowed from our hydrants based on credit-by-demo from about 10 years back
    We currently have a Class 6 out to 3,000 feet. That will all change with our next rating when we throw out the length limitation and replace that wording with "all structures within 5 miles of a fire station". Some of our commercial pre-plans will require us to drop 3 miles of 5" hose.


    If you end up getting the funding to properly install a pressurized system and decide that is the way to go, dual 5" stortz steamers and a single 2 1/2" outlet is about the smartest thing you could do.

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