dry hydrant

The dry hydrant can be used by any fire department in the Carolinas that needs water for firefighting. Photo courtesy of Union County

WAXHAW – A new life-saving tool is available at the lake within Cane Creek Park to help rural fire districts access large amounts of water when needed to extinguish a fire. After being installed recently, the new dry hydrant was tested by the Sandy Ridge Fire District and proved successful. A dry hydrant is a non-pressurized pipe system that allows firefighters to connect a pumper truck to the hydrant to draft water from a nearby body of water.

Prior to the dry hydrant being installed, firefighters relied on tanker trucks to deliver large amounts of water in areas where fire hydrants are not available. The dry hydrant at Cane Creek Lake allows a typical 3,000 gallon tanker to be filled in less than six minutes.

“We’ve been hoping and planning to have this life-saving tool for about 25 years,” Fire Marshal Kevin Rigoli said. “It puts a water source in the middle of the Jackson Fire District and will lessen the critical time it takes to haul water when responding to a fire.”

The dry hydrant at Cane Creek Lake was engineered, designed and constructed by Union County Water staff.

“This new tool is the result of an incredible partnership between fire districts in the County and Union County Government,” said County Manager Mark Watson. “I’m proud to see this project come to life and know it will have tremendous value for the residents of Union County.”

During a recent evaluation by the Office of the State Fire Marshal, the county’s 17 fire districts and the City of Monroe Fire Department worked together to successfully demonstrate the ability to deliver water to rural fires through a tanker operation, relying on water from other sources, such as a fire hydrant at a local high school outside the fire district or small ponds.

“That state evaluation proved these fire districts used a tanker operation just as effectively as getting water from a fire hydrant connected to a public water system; and that’s quite an accomplishment,” Rigoli said.

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