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  1. #1
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    Default Specifying the Location of rural hydrants

    Working today on text of a proposed change to the Iowa Code relating to water supplies for rural fire dept use. Current code is below in italics. Change concept underlined. I donít think this change is sufficient to protect the interest of property owners or the fire dept. I need to propose an alternative

    What code prevailing in your jurisdiction/area/state defines who establishes locations for fire hydrants in rural areas (or towns/cities)? Can you paste in the verbiage?

    Issue is that in 2001 the Iowa Leg. passed a bill requiring rural water districts to provide fire depts access to the water in their mains. Has not happened as no agency in the state assumed "ownership" of the section. The Rural Water companies would rather not be bothered with such meaningless BS/spend any $ (100% Fed grant $0) on fire hydrants. Their practice is to install a hydrant (no steamer) only at their towers (every 15-20+mi). Big deal, NO GO.

    Installation of hydrants would/could only apply where water mains exist. State potable water regs require 6"+ main for a hydrant installation. Cost of a hydrant install is about $2000. Most rural towns have no hydrants and for most refill of a tanker is from a 25gpm well. Alternatively drive to a town with hydrants (for us a 15mi round trip, then go to the fire up to 15 more miles).

    Obviously ISO and AWWA standards are a start point, however 500' hydrant spacing along a rural road/corn fields makes no sense. And 300' distance to structure means hydrant laterals into most every farm yard (building sites are more than 300' from the road). The alternative under ISO rural water rules is ability to relay pump using LDH (or tanker). So someone has to establish where the hydrants go.

    In my opinion, it is the responsibility of each Fire Chief to designate hydrant locations as required to support the fire deptís ability lay LDH. Which might/will vary by dept. My understanding is that in city the Fire Chief is in charge of hydrant locations. Is this correct in your area?

    As I stated above I donít think the proposed change is sufficient to protect the interest of property owners or the fire dept. Giving the Board of Supervisors oversight responsibility is reasonable as a rural water system cross multiple fire district (and counties) The water system under development plans 60 miles of 15" transmission line running across 4 counties. No agency of the state is going to be given central authority over this issue, including the Fire Marshall. Homerule philosophy governs here, no state mandated building codes etc. Any amendment has be noncontroversial to be no more than a couple lines that a 7 year old will understand or will get bogged down in study meetings for the next 5 years. The amendment has to be submitted soone and passed in the House and Senate within the next 10 days (before adjournment until 2006). So referring directly to other standards such as ISO, AWWA, NFPA does not work.

    Iím thinking we need to add, before the Supervisors line, something along the lines of: ďLocal fire chief will designate hydrant locations in accordance with industry standards and the capabilities of the fire department."

    Looking for Ideas, I need to get this back to the Leg. today or tomorrow.

    357A.22A Rural fire protection program - liability.
    A rural water district or rural water association incorporated under this chapter or chapter 504 or 504A shall establish a rural fire protection program which shall include, but is not limited to, providing reasonable access to designated soft-hose fill stations, providing annually or more often if necessary updated maps of soft-hose fill stations to all fire departments within the rural water service area, and sponsoring informational meetings for all fire departments and interested parties within the rural water service area for the purpose of reviewing locations of facilities, operational procedures, communication procedures and facilities, and procedures designed to coordinate efforts to enhance rural fire protection. The fire protection program is subject to the review and approval of the board of supervisors of the county of counties in which the district is located.

    A rural water district or rural water association incorporated under this chapter or chapter 504 or 504A which provides water service to cities, benefited fire districts, or townships shall not be liable for a claim against the district or association for failure to provide or maintain fire hydrants, facilities, or an adequate supply of water or water pressure for fire protection purposes if the purpose of the hydrants, facilities, or water used is not for fire protection. Not later than July 1, 2006, the legislative council shall provide for a review of the liability exemption or limitation provided for rural water districts or rural water associations under this paragraph and assess its effect on the provision of fire protection in areas served by the rural water districts or rural water associations.
    2001 Acts, ch 54, ß1; 2004 Acts, ch 1175, ß393


  2. #2
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    It may be up to the supervisors, etc where they are put, but ultimatly it's the land owners here. We HAD a program that at no cost to the land owners, we would install a Dry Hydrant at all large ponds and lakes, and take care of necessary clean up and landscaping. But after we had paid for all we could, and it became up to the township fathers, they decided the landowner should pay for it so as not to be bothersome to tax payers. Yeah, let the town burn down, gawd forbid we **** the tax payers off. Our municipality has had a fairly advanced hydrant system since the 1880's, and we've extended it up the mountains around town, and even installed water tanks in the surrounding townships so we could extend hydrants into the more populated rural areas. It doesn't really cost that much, it's getting the right people to install them, many people who have it done on their own screw something up and they freeze in the winter, or suck mud in the summer. We took our latest rural water fund and bought floating pumps, most of the local water supply areas already have "city hydrants" or dry hydrants; so this is really alot easier. No set up. suction hose is preconnected to the truck and pump; start it and throw it in the water... and your ready to go. While you work w/ that one, every truck has two, so you can set up another one and twice the water. You can fill two trucks at once.

  3. #3
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    Rural water systems are installed entirely on publicly owned road right of way. Using 100% fed gov't grant $.
    Last edited by neiowa; 04-21-2005 at 03:06 PM.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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    "Reasonable" is a loaded word when it comes to laws, codes, and standards.
    ullrichk
    a.k.a.
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    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

  5. #5
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    You got that right. But reality is that anything with detail or "complicated" is not going to get thru the leg.

    So who designates hydrant locations in your city? The Chief?

    Anyone?

  6. #6
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    The chief designates the hydrant locations, but has given this authority to the City Fire Inspector. The city requires the property developer to purchase and install hydrants as specified by the fire chief - fire inspector.

    For rural applications, where no code is in effect, and when we're asked by the developers, we prefer that hydrants be within 1,000-feet of occupancies. Each of our apparatus carry 1,200-feet of 5" and this allows the first due to lay their own supply in.

    I know we'd like to have hydrants as close as possible, but you can seem reasonable to the powers that be on the rural hydrants and not ask to have them installed every 200-feet.

    Consider having them installed at distances that give at least twice the water your biggest engine can pump. If you have a 1,000gpm engine, and your hydrant pressure will push 2,000gpm through 2,000feet of your supply line, have the hydrants installed at 2,000 foot minimums in the unbuilt on areas. Less if it will push it less, maybe more if it will push it more.

    In the built up areas, space hydrants closer as needed to protect the occupancies in the areas.

    Paul Shapiro has some good test data on comparing wharf hydrants (those with only 2 - 2.5" discharges) with standard hydrants. Regardless of the pressure, the standard hydrant and LDH wins the flow wars every time. http://www.fireflowtechnology.com/
    Last edited by ScottCook; 04-23-2005 at 04:06 AM.
    www.gvfd.org

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