Does anyone know the requirements about fire water quality, what kind of water can be use for fire extinguishing, could someone recommend the minimum requirements in the NFPA standard for this issue?
Sir, for urban areas, NFPA 24 (2007) under Chapter 5 should be referred; however, it is silent about the quality level. It is understood that the source of water in this NFPA refers to municipal water. For suburban and rural areas, NFPA 1142 (2017) under Chapter 7 is referred. The sources of water shall be approved by the AHJ. Guidance is provided on the water quality in A.7.1.1 where concern on suspended particulates and contaminants damaging the pump system or interfering with the extinguishing agent is highlighted.
Fist of all thanks for your response, there is no specific water qulity level mentioned in the standard, i think we should classify the following two cases:
Case1: Urban areas, we can use the municipal water.
Case2: Suburban and rural areas, in the professional view, the penstocks, rivers, lakes, or reserviors can be used in fire fighting system (metioned in NFPA24 Chapter 5),if we want use other kind of water source, it shall be approved by the AHJ. Am i right?
However, we always conduct some industrial power plant fire-fighting system, we sometimes are asked by the owner, whether the sea water can be use for fire fighting water source? As usual, i response to them it's better to use the desalinated sea water for fire fighting system, but i still don't know the sea water can be used for fire fighting source actually, do you know some info. regarding this issue? Thanks in advance!
Yes you are correct. As long as the authorities approve.
Seawater has been used for firefighting in many processing and power plants located near the ocean. The concerns are due to the high salt content, dissolved minerals and organisms, there is need to protect your piping, nozzles, valves and downstream equipment from the threats of corrosion, blockage and fouling. In one particular facility, desalinated water is used as the primary firewater source, stored inside a tank sized for 10 hours at maximum firewater demand. Seawater is used as the secondary / backup firewater source, pumped directly from the intake station.
Thank you Sir, i got your point.
What similar concerns might there be for irrigation water for firefighting? We are rebuilding in a rural mountain area after a catastrophic wildfire and putting in a hybrid treatment system that minimizes leach field size in an effort to conserve our water resources and help increase soil activity. The treated water is expected to be available for irrigation.
Sorry for the late reply. Irrigation water would have similar concerns as in the use of seawater, which are high dissolved salts and minerals, microbes and decomposition products of organic material [i.e. food for organisms that could cause biofouling in your piping]. You might also see soil particulates that could cause high turbidity and damage the impellers. You might also see increased levels of certain chemicals that came from the use of fertilizers such as nitrogen and phosphorus, all of which contribute to algae growth, corrosion and scale formation in the piping system in the long run.
Thanks for the detailed reply. Following a wildfire disaster a few years
ago, a group of us residents are designing a small development
incorporating NFPAs Safer from the Start principles and particularly water
conservation techniques. It looks like our county is likely to approve a
permit to install a Presby system wherein the water from the home would be
treated using pipes lined with a bacteria-permeated material rather than
creating a very big leach field. We will be facing the question of whether
or not they will allow us to use the treated water for gardening / light
food production i.e., creating some green fuel breaks. In this situation,
i can see that we might still have problems from dissolved salts minerals
microbes and some decomposition products, but not the soil particulates or
fertilizers. With this contingency, can a credible case be made for using
any of that water to help mitigate wildfire danger? Also, would it depend
on the amount of square footage to be maintained?
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