Yorkshire Firefighter’s Receive Water Networks Awareness

Yorkshire Water will soon visit over 100 fire stations in the region to carry out awareness sessions with firefighters on best practice use of our 31,000km water mains network.

The training is entitled Calm Networks Operational Training and aims to help the Fire Services throughout Yorkshire protect access to water for firefighting, by ensuring the best practice use of hydrants.

There are thousands of fire hydrants across Yorkshire, which are vital for firefighters to obtain water at fire incidents.

However, when hydrant valves are operated, it can create surges in water pressure that on occasion cause pipes to burst or result in discoloured water to nearby homes.

To ensure hydrant operation does not disrupt the water supply, we are making firefighters aware how effective operation of hydrant valves will help prevent any interruption or cause damage to the underground pipe network through inadvertently creating pressure surges.

Adam Hirst-Gee said: “This is all about helping firefighters optimise the use of the water network so that they have easy access to water to help put out fires. It will also help ensure water supply to homes, hospitals, businesses and schools are not inadvertently affected by fire hydrant use. What we want to prevent is hydrants being closed too quickly which causes the water pressure to rapidly rise and put a strain on our pipe network.”

An innovative mobile hydraulic training simulator, designed by Yorkshire Water and built by its service partner, Morrison Utility Services, has been created specifically for this training which measures the transient pressure surges created when hydrants are operated.

Steve Nicholls, Water Officer at West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, said: “The partnership with Yorkshire Water has assisted West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to confirm correct procedure when working with the water network assets such as fire hydrants, as well as an enhanced understanding of how the water network operates .This not only ensures the maintenance of water supplies for firefighting but assists Yorkshire Water to fulfil their requirements to supply clean water without interruption to the wider community and businesses. The partnership has also provided an insight in to how each organisation works and developed a basis for closer working in the future."

Regulations state that the minimum water pressure must be at least 1.375 bar to ensure water can reaches the upstairs of homes. If the pressure is too low this causes water to trickle out of the taps and if it is too high this can cause pipes to crack.