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What Is A Dry Fire Hydrant?

This is a picture of a dry fire hydrant

A dry hydrant is a non-pressurized pipe installed at a pond or lake that is in close proximity to an all weather road.  Dry hydrants provide firefighters with a way to replenish their water supplies.  A fire crew can refill its tanker truck from a dry hydrant which is located near the fire area.  Dry hydrants are critical for battling fires in pastures and structures throughout our coverage area.
Dry hydrants are beneficial to volunteer and rural fire departments in areas where there are no conventional fire hydrants. The Old Lyme Community has several dry fire hydrants in place. Water is pumped from a pond via the dry hydrant. The water fills pumper trucks which can then use the water on area fires."

Why Are Dry Fire Hydrants Needed?

Old Lyme Fire Department area of coverage lacks sufficiently large bore water mains and pressurized fire hydrants.  Lack of a fast high pressure source of water impairs our fire department's ability to do its job quickly and efficiently.  The success of rural fire department operations
depends, in part, on how far a truck must travel to fill the water tank then return to the fire.  Prior to installation of dry hydrants, Old Lyme Fire Department's refill points were sometimes a long distance from the fire we were fighting.  When the water source is far removed from the fire we are are unable to maintain an uninterrupted flow of water at the scene.  Additionally, the water may be slow flowing due to the diameter of the water pipe.  Dry fire hydrants provide a ready supply of water that can be pumped through a large diameter pipe and are closer to the fire than our earlier water sources.

Where Are Dry Fire Hydrants Needed?

Dry hydrants are beneficial in areas that lack conventional fire protection and conventional hydrants,  areas where existing community water pipes cannot handle the large volume of water necessary to fight fires, and in areas where peak water use seasons can cause low water pressure throughout the system.  The dry fire hydrant does not use electricity,
so it is capable of supplying water in the case of natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes or any other time when electricity is unavailable.

Dry Fire Hydrants:

  • Use a non-pressurized pipe system

  • Use relatively inexpensive piping materials and other supplies

  • Are permanently installed in existing lakes, pools, tanks, and ponds

  • Provide a means of access whenever needed, regardless of weather conditions

  • Allow years of simple operation with a minimum of maintenance

Dry Hydrants Conserve Energy By:

  • Reducing losses from fires

  • Reducing the miles fire trucks must travel to shuttle water to fires

  • Using water sources other than processed domestic potable water supplies

  • Reduce demand for energy needed to process and transport domestic potable water

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