South Lynches Fire Department takes great pride in our accomplishments in the water supply area. We believe that water supply is an often-overlooked area in rural fire protection. In rural areas fire hydrants are not readily available and alternative water sources are needed. At SLFD, we spend an enormous amount of time and energy at perfecting our rural water supply capabilities. South Lynches was one of the first rural departments to begin using LDH for water supply, jet dump, and dump tanks. Our efforts in the water supply area have enabled us to obtain a Class 4 Rural-Rating district wide.
TYPES OF WATER SUPPLY
In SLFD’s district, we have pressurized fire hydrants, dry hydrants installed on static water points, static water points without dry hydrants, and we also have one cistern.
PRESSURIZED FIRE HYDRANTS
In our district we have about 350 pressurized fire hydrants. These hydrants are supported by the following cities/towns: City of Lake City, Town of Scranton, Town of Coward, and Barrineau. All of our fire hydrants are color coded to NFPA recommendations. They are coded as follows: Blue – 1,500 gpm or more, Green – 1,000 to 1,499 gpm, Orange – 500 to 999 gpm, and Red – below 500gpm. An outside provider once per year conducts hydrant inspections, painting and flow-test. Department personnel conduct a visual inspection and flush once per year. We are in the process of marking all of our pressurized hydrants with blue markers that are attached to the roadway.
South Lynches has about 130 static water points in our district; about 50 of these have dry hydrants installed on them. Dry hydrants are installed by digging a trench from the pond to the site for the hydrant to be placed. PVC pipe is then connected with a strainer on the end and placed out in the pond. All of our dry hydrants are engineered by Soil and Conservation and are designed to flow at least 1,000 gallons per minute. Fire department staff, with the assistance from Florence or Williamsburg County Public Works, installs the dry hydrants. After each dry hydrant is installed it is then flow-tested. A blue roadside sign with a big white W marks each dry hydrant. There is also a No Parking sign at the place where the engine parks to connect to the dry hydrant. We try to concentrate on installing dry hydrants on ponds that are not accessible to fire apparatus. We also try to locate dry hydrants near target hazards for direct lays with 5-inch hose. Dry hydrants are back-flushed and flowed once per year by department personnel.
STATIC (WITHOUT DRY HYDRANTS)
Some ponds that we use for water points are accessible for fire apparatus to pull beside and obtain water supply without the use of a dry hydrant. Our engines are equipped with a 24 ft., 6-inch, lightweight, flexible pre-connected squirrel-tail that one man can place in the pond and begin drafting. If the pond is accessible then we do not usually install a dry hydrant. These points are also marked with a blue roadside sign with a big white W and a No Parking sign at the site where the apparatus usually sets up. Ponds are inspected and maintained by fire department personnel.
SLFD has one cistern that is located by a local business. This cistern holds about 30,000 gallons of water. It is marked just as the other water points.