Understanding Fire Ponds: What is a Dry Fire Hydrant?

In rural areas, especially those where municipal water systems are not readily available, dry hydrants are used to supply the water needed to fight fires. A dry hydrant, or dry fire hydrant, is typically an unpressurized and permanently installed pipe with one end below the water level of a pond with a strainer to prevent debris from entering the pipe. When necessary, a fire engine can pump from your pond by drafting water. This is accomplished by vacuuming air out of the dry hydrant, hard sleeve, and fire engine pump with the help of a primer. From there, water can be used to put out fires and help first responders keep your community safe.

What is a Static Water Source?

A static water source, or water supply, is one that remains year-round and is not filled and drained with running water. The process of drawing water from a static source to supply a pumper is commonly known as drafting. This type of operation can occur from any type of static water source, such as ponds, lakes, portable tanks, and any water-carrying vehicles without pumps.

As a static water supply, fire suppression ponds that are not gravity-fed or electrically pumped can also perform as a huge benefit to first responders. These fire suppression ponds are generally located in rural communities, or in the countryside, where it doesn't make a lot of sense to install excess plumbing or solar systems to pressurize the water. 

These static fire suppression ponds generally need to utilize a dry hydrant. These dry hydrants are generally very simple to make, easy to maintain, and can keep first responders fighting wildfires for years to come.

Where Should I Place My Dry Hydrant?

The placement of your new dry hydrant should be in a clearly visible area. In order to improve UV resistance as well as improve visibility, all above ground PVC should be painted a fluorescent red. 

In conjunction, reflective markers should be placed on metal posts directly to the left and right of the dry hydrant. The bright colored paint and the reflective markers assist with night visibility of these emergency water sources. Thus, making it easy locate and utilize for any emergency responder.

Please check with your normal fire authority before finishing the fittings on your dry hydrant, as individual districts many require different fittings. 

How to Install a Dry Hydrant

Dry hydrants are generally built from solid PVC piping. These hydrants are built and permanently installed in static water sources like ponds. 

As a general rule of thumb, the larger the diameter of the piping, the more water fire trucks can pump at once. 6-inch schedule 80 PVC piping is often used for this project. The dry hydrant itself should be dug into the ground, with the inlet descending into the water a minimum of 24 inches below the year-round water level and capped with a course strainer. The outlet portion should emerge from the ground and ascend 24 inches above the ground and make a 90-degree bend to the correct fitting for your area. These fittings are generally capped with a 6-inch NST cap or a 6 inch NST to 4 inch reducer. 

Dry Hydrants and BTL Liners

BTL Liners gives you the versatility you need to build and install a dry hydrant in a fire retention pond without compromising the safety and security of your liner.

Liners by BTL

AquaArmor Pond Liner

The most versatile liner on the market today, AquaArmor maximizes protection from harmful UV rays, tear resistance and punctures that cause leaks. Simply the best liner on the market.

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