Water supply has and always will be the No. 1 concern for firefighters. Will the hydrant give me enough water? Can I draft from that height? Those questions are commonplace among firefighting personnel.
There is a solution that uses old technology with a modern twist to get water from a static source. Using a hydraulically driven, submersible float pump is nothing new but it’s now incorporated and adopted by the firefighting industry.
Using a submersible pump is the perfect solution for getting pressurized water from static sources. Whether it be in an industrial, municipal or forestry setting, using a submersible pump system has many benefits.
SUBMERSIBLE PUMP ADVANTAGES
In recent emergency response events where US Fire Pump Emergency response teams were dispatched, it was found that the fixed fire water systems were compromised. This rendered the hydrants and fire water main useless.
By using submersible pumps, US Fire Pump personnel quickly found static water sources, in these cases rivers, to supply the on-scene personnel with needed water for fire operations. In one instance, the water source was over 1.5 miles away. Personnel deployed a 10,000-gpm submersible pump unit and supplied inline boost pumps to on-scene personnel who could then supply the water needed for cooling and extinguishment.
For municipal or forestry operations, particularly in rural regions, imagine having a water source right in front of you, but you cannot access it with a fire truck; or you are prohibited by the lift height for drafting operations. The answer may be using a submersible pump to supply your engine with the water it needs. What about distance and lift? This can be achieved from distances up to 175 feet and with a lift height up to 40 feet.
Using submersible pumps, in many cases, allows for greater water flow than can be achieved with hydrants or drafting pumps. For example, a single submersible pump can supply either 3,000 or 5,000 gpm and can fit in the back of a standard pickup truck or mounted to a small trailer. Both single submersible pumps have been a popular option among municipalities and smaller industrial complexes.
Municipalities have deployed into a static water source, one 3,000-gpm submersible pump and supplied up to three fire engines during firefighting operations.
The most popular combination used by industrial complexes has been using dual 5,000-gpm submersible pumps to achieve a desired flow of 10,000 gpm. This can also be configured with three and four 5,000-gpm submersible pumps to achieve higher flows of 15,000 and 20,000 gpm, respectively.
HOLDUPS IN WIDESPREAD ADOPTION
Why hasn’t the use of submersible pumps been adopted as a common practice for fire departments across the globe?
There are many reasons, but the most glaring is the fact that operational change can be challenging to adopt and intimidating to those being asked to change.
But submersible pump operations are a much simpler task than drafting operations, which many describe as an art. For a lack of a better term, it really is a “plug and play” system. Deploy the submersible, start your pump and you have water flowing to the desired location.
The question then becomes: Does a tool like a submersible pump make your department more efficient in supplying water to your community or complex?
US Fire Pump engineers and manufacturers a full line of submersible pumps in their Holden, Louisiana, facility. Ranging from 3,000 gpm to 20,000 gpm with multiple configurations available including skid-mounted, trailer-mounted, open or enclosed designs. More options are available. For more information visit www.usfirepump.com, call (225) 209-6551 or email [email protected]