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Water for Fire service, rural


saveasteading
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Scottish Standards state

 

Standard 2.13

Every building must be provided with a water supply for use by the fire and rescue service.

2.13.3 Alternative water supply

Where no piped water supply is available, or there is insufficient pressure and flow in the water main, or an alternative arrangement is proposed, the alternative source of supply should be considered as appropriate by the fire and rescue service.

 

 

As we are 2 miles from the road and have a private supply of 10 dribbles per second, can anyone advise?

is it a problem or;
Does the fireman think that it is a single house so no problem.

Do we need a tank of water and how much to suggest? ( 1 or more IBC linked)

 

There is a burn but it is wide and shallow and 70m away. 15m lower, so I think is no help.

Actually well water supply is between 3 litres / minute now and 12 l/minute in winter, so no problem in supplying domestic water, but quantity and pressure, no.

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Generally you will have to have storage if you don't have a pond or suitable watercourse - the last one I did which was storage was 6000ltrs (you have to get building standards to consult with SFRS) and they were very specific about getting the correct valve specified on the stamped warrant drawings!

 

 

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Thanks all. No sprinklers are required.

It seems that fire engines carry 1500 to 1800 litres, which I would hope and expect would extinguish a fire in any modern house.

1 hour ago, the_r_sole said:

suitable watercourse

'Our' burn at 80m distance and 20m lower doesn't sound suitable to me.

The 6000 litre tank isn't as expensive as I feared, but is a big lump of a thing, and I don't recall seeing one on a recent similar project we visited.

 

1 hour ago, the_r_sole said:

the correct valve specified on the stamped warrant drawings!

The valve being their hose connection point?

 

As the building warrant application has to go to the fire authority, I wonder if the options are   a)  to know what they want and show it precisely, or b) not deal with that point and await any instruction.....it may well depend on the local attitude, and being remote the local fire people will be used to it and perhaps more relaxed.

Reading the clause again, it is for every building type and situation, so an isolated single house may be low risk and no special measure.....please.

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I think they used to ask for 10,000ltrs! most of the time the tanks are just sunk in the ground when you're doing your drainage -  6000ltrs and the valve spec came from Scottish Fire and Rescue as the minimum they would accept to satisfy the regulations - the idea is that the fire tender can plug into the supply once they've used all the water in the appliance, so they're not assuming that 1500 would extinguish a fire?

You have to request consultation with them as part of the warrant process anyway, their timescales are anyones guess so making it easy for them is usually a good idea, they no longer deal direct with you too which means you're at the mercy of the local authority to pass information on...

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That is why I don't want to propose 6,000 or 10,000 in case they aren't bothered.

I am not much bothered either as it is a stone building and will have plasterboard everywhere, so any fire will be in a compartment.

 

We have a couple of contacts very locally who might be able to tell us what they had to do.

 

Keep the advice coming folks, but I will also feed back anything we get locally.

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43 minutes ago, jamieled said:

We have a house with off grid water and sewerage. We don't have any special measures in place for firefighting water. I don't think the fire service were consulted at warrant stage. 

 

Either you have a hydrant somewhere nearby or it was discussed with SFRS during the warrant stage - it's unavoidable in Scotland

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No hydrants within a couple of miles of me, my water is pumped from my own well. Fairly certain but don’t quote me that as part of the planning for the 4 properties in this area we each had to have a pond for fire fighting purposes. 

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6 hours ago, saveasteading said:

No answers!. posting again in case anybody with info missed this last time.

I had this concern. 

 

Talk to the building control after chasing fire service in circles. There is specific wording in that if each floor of your house is less than  100m2 you don't nees storageas likely they have enough storage on the appliance. I was 400m from a hydrant and the local service just said if need be they would have 2 and relay water if required. Took me months to find the answer but apparently part of local planning rules. 

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38 minutes ago, SuperJohnG said:

There is specific wording in that if each floor of your house is less than  100m2 you don't need storage

Any idea where to find that?" it makes sense. 

 

searched and found this German assessment 

 

36 minutes ago, jamieled said:

discussed it without me knowing

It is possibly a delegated decision by the BCO or it goes to fire and comes back again without much formality.

 

Someone told us today that the rules changed about 3 years ago: previously no requirement. 

He also said the figure is  45,000 litres which is rather hard to believe, but I have now found that stated in the English regs. Horror.

None or 45,000 is not very logical.

 

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I dug around a bit - my 6000lts was incorrect, that's what we'd proposed to SFRS and this is what thier formal response was:

 

Quote

Scottish Fire & Rescue Service confirm that an alternative water supply for firefighting purposes comprising of a tank capable of providing or storing at least 10,000 litres of water at all times of year may be acceptable providing that there is hard standing available for any fire appliance and that this is purely for personal use and not a commercial venture. The tank can be buried with an open hatch, or have a 100mm round thread female adaptor.

 

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A pragmatic view from me..?

 

Having built a few houses out in the sticks and lived in the sticks the last thing you want is for you house to completely burn down due to a lack of water if a fire occurs. Have experienced a neighbours hay lorry going on fire next to their house, used loads of water to stop it setting light to their house. The fire engine ran dry and we drew water from the ponds.

 

If you have the room then ponds can be great fun, not just for kids to learn about nature but for adults too! Once you start to play with them.. it's addictive. If you have a descent roof area you can fill them pretty much with the roof and surface run off water.

 

I can see the logic from my own experience about having a 45m^3 storage as but that is not a big pond.

 

If you live up in say Aberdeenshire it gets pretty cold. If you are doing a pond then you want the aqua culture to thrive and not freeze in the winter. You can find plenty stuff in the SUDS manual about this but in essence you have a shallow sloping bit and a deep bit (1.5 - 2.0m) for winter conditions, lower light levels and so on. A pond of say 6 * 8 *average 1.0m deep will give you your 45m^3. It will vary a bit depending on evapouration so you need to do a few calcs.

 

Yes if you are in sandy ground you'll have much loss so will need a plastic or clay liner. But all this needs to balanced against the fun you'll have playing about..the self build journey.. it's not all about the money you know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, the_r_sole said:

6000lts was incorrect, that's what we'd proposed to SFRS and this is what their formal response was:

Really helpful thanks.

Also agreed that having a supply for firefighting is sensible, but what volume is reasonable?

 

I have now found that the 45,000 litres applies to Scottish non-domestic and flats in England.

The English regs seem to be totally silent on any water for domestic use.

 

The not-so-bad news is that an ugly big plastic tank will cost between £900 and £3,000 and I have to see why there is this difference.

an underground one will likely cost much more.

But I am thinking perhaps to build a block one underground. our ground is pure sand so is easy, 

4m x 2m x 1.5m total size, and concrete slab with manhole cover over.  Hollow blocks with bar and concrete fill, bitumen paint liner and even a fish pond liner.

Going to cost £2,000 all-up perhaps, but low tech apart from the water retaining part.

Our water is free and piped from a well, so filling is easy.

 

And then we will have the only house around that has plenty of water, in case the fields go on fire.

 

Just one more thing?   we have a stream (saying 'burn' in this context might confuse). 80m away horizontally, 18m vertically. I am assuming the fire brigade cannot pump that far/high.

Could build a sump so that all the water poured in in emergency. I reckon the flow is 50 litres/sec in the driest summer, and that is perhaps not enough.

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1 hour ago, saveasteading said:

Just one more thing?   we have a stream (saying 'burn' in this context might confuse). 80m away horizontally, 18m vertically. I am assuming the fire brigade cannot pump that far/high.

 

They would do a quick assessment on it - I've had one stream before where they asked for flow rates to be measured etc (which was fine because we had to do it for flood risk anyway - but I think the pumping depends on what equipment they have locally.

I've had this for a number of years with sites, realistically some of them would burn to the ground a long time before the fire service could get to it, but they don't like that argument! ?

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1 hour ago, the_r_sole said:

They would do a quick assessment on it -

Do you think I should offer 'low' and wait  to be told to do more. 

for example offer a 4000 litre tank and access to the stream, 

Or go straight in with 10,000 litre tank .....or will they still ask for more...

 

I would always rather put in the perfect application and get straight approval, but am wary of officials always wanting to show their authority by asking for more.

 

btw The fire stations are 10 and 13km away, which isn't too bad.

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On 30/09/2021 at 21:31, Gus Potter said:

ponds can be great fun

I agree, and especially like them for drainage lagoons. Witnessing the arrival of nature is fascinating.

In our project though, a 10,000 litre pond, 1.5m deep would drain away in, I calculate, 2 hours.

There is 10m of sand.

 

And then we don't want to be breeding more midges.

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On 01/10/2021 at 17:01, saveasteading said:

Do you think I should offer 'low' and wait  to be told to do more. 

for example offer a 4000 litre tank and access to the stream, 

Or go straight in with 10,000 litre tank .....or will they still ask for more...

 

I would always rather put in the perfect application and get straight approval, but am wary of officials always wanting to show their authority by asking for more.

 

btw The fire stations are 10 and 13km away, which isn't too bad.

 

We went low and got told to use 10,000 - Now I would just go straight with the 10,000. 

The stream would either be suitable or not, rather than a potential additional volume available 

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1 hour ago, the_r_sole said:

 

We went low and got told to use 10,000 - Now I would just go straight with the 10,000. 

The stream would either be suitable or not, rather than a potential additional volume available 

 

You're doing a one off project in a fantastic part of the UK. Why put a big plastic tank in the ground!

 

For me it sounds bonkers to put a plastic tank in the ground in Aberdeenshire just to comply with some fire reg. Save a Steading.. if you drive about you'll probably find that there are a few farms further up the hill that have clay and want rid of it or will deliver a few loads. Also, if you have loads of sand and gravel then a bit of clay introduced to the garden with the clay minerals associated will improve the soil.. all you need then is a few trailer loads of dung and hey ho..the cost of the pond will be mitigated! Remember that Aberdeenshire is in the rain shaddow of the Grampians and can get pretty dry. If this is the forever home then these things matter.

 

Dig a pond and line it with clay! For all.. London clay was used to line dams! A well battered Scottish Glacial till will also suffice, it just needs to be a bit thicker. Oh, and once you get the Mallard ducks visiting they will do all lot of the maintenece and take care of the midge larve.

 

For me if you have grandkids / kids then having your own pond allows you hang out with them, you can do the nature stuff but also teach then about water safety, what not to do and what you can do. When you can walk on ice and when you can't. Hey if the pond is big enough in Aberdeenshire you may be able to skate on it in the winter! Fish for tadpoles, what to feed the wild ducks... Mallards will nest in a duck house too on a small pond so long as they feel the foxes can't get to the nest.

 

@the_r_sole

 

"I would always rather put in the perfect application and get straight approval, but am wary of officials always wanting to show their authority by asking for more. "

 

'Sole.. that could be construed as just a box ticking excercise. Having read your posts I don't think that reflects the many years you have spent learning your craft and technical skills. I note you say you would prefer. Yes, there is alway the risk that we may encounter officialdom, it's something I wrestle with too.. do you design to just comply or do you challenge / stick to your design intent?

 

Much depends on the Client.. but if you can say.. for all .. hey folks this is going to add value to your house.. no one else has this but do you want your dream home or do you want what YOU want.. Architecturally designed by the Sole say as a one off just for you.. what about putting the new Audi on hold for another year and spend your money on something that is going to deliver much more long term satisfaction and value.

 

You can be cynical, chuck in a howler on your application with the full knowledge of your Client that the Authority will spot it and that you can compromise on, but still keep the design intent.. for me best just to stick to your guns and play it off a straight bat.

 

What has happened to the system where we are even discussing compromising just to get approvals? Why can't designers / experienced builders / contractors use first principles to innovate? I think we can.. but we need to find a new way of communicating our ideas in a positive way that encourages the young folk that are on the Authority side to engage.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Gus Potter said:

play it off a straight bat.

That is the plan, and my philosophy. the query was really that the size of the tank appears to be arbitrary. 6,000 litres is four fire engines worth and I would think enough for a modern conversion with compartmentation..

Therefore propose 6,000 and see what happens??

The jump to 10,000 is a lot, but I should probably take Mr Sole's advice........but they wont then ask for 15,000 I hope.

Current plan is to build a tank underground (concrete, block and a liner if necessary), as does not affect the view or garden space. Also where proposed it could serve the neighbours' which I should mention.

An underground tank also wins us 10m3 of sand which will find a use.

 

Pond/ lagoon. This is not Aberdeenshire. That one fell through. There is no clay around, just sand and granite.

Also, the rainfall is not high, and this summer even a lined pond would have likely dried out, so needed regular topping up. Plus the topography  doesn't allow it, but you weren't to know that.

 

1 hour ago, Gus Potter said:

London clay was used to line dams! A well battered Scottish Glacial till will also suffice, it just needs to be a bit thicker.

Yes, I learned about puddling re canal projects in the Midlands.

I have dug up and mixed and wetted and kneaded this sand and it just ends up as sand again. I think it is unusually pure sand, with a tiny bit of self-adhesion, and would have a decent value as quality  fill. I take it you know of glacial deposits that are stickier, but working with ground made of sand it is a new material to me.

 

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1 hour ago, saveasteading said:

That is the plan, and my philosophy. the query was really that the size of the tank appears to be arbitrary. 6,000 litres is four fire engines worth and I would think enough for a modern conversion with compartmentation..

Therefore propose 6,000 and see what happens??

The jump to 10,000 is a lot, but I should probably take Mr Sole's advice........but they wont then ask for 15,000 I hope.

Current plan is to build a tank underground (concrete, block and a liner if necessary), as does not affect the view or garden space. Also where proposed it could serve the neighbours' which I should mention.

An underground tank also wins us 10m3 of sand which will find a use.

 

Pond/ lagoon. This is not Aberdeenshire. That one fell through. There is no clay around, just sand and granite.

Also, the rainfall is not high, and this summer even a lined pond would have likely dried out, so needed regular topping up. Plus the topography  doesn't allow it, but you weren't to know that.

 

Yes, I learned about puddling re canal projects in the Midlands.

I have dug up and mixed and wetted and kneaded this sand and it just ends up as sand again. I think it is unusually pure sand, with a tiny bit of self-adhesion, and would have a decent value as quality  fill. I take it you know of glacial deposits that are stickier, but working with ground made of sand it is a new material to me.

 

What happened to the Aberdeenshire project? I was rooting for you on that one.

 

Now you're onto sand and granite.. help ma boab.

 

Ok before you get carried away on drainage you need to look very carefully at where you are.. have you trucked over to the West Coast or moved a bit further into the Grampians? Quite a few of these sites (Islands & Grampians)  have granite dykes with sand inclusions.. expensive if you don't know your way round the houses..a lot of the easy sites have been snapped up years ago.

 

"I take it you know of glacial deposits that are stickier, but working with ground made of sand it is a new material to me."

 

Yes I have a working knowledge but every day is a school day.

 

"Yes, I learned about puddling re canal projects in the Midlands."

 

Me too, cut my teeth on a project in the Midlands where a young couple had a canal boat building business and expanded to make a marina with a bit where folk could moor up all year round and live on thier barges. the marina bit had a lock and needed lined with clay.. happy memories!

 

If you fancy post some stuff on your new site..to get best feedback you probably want to be a bit more site specific..

 

For all.. I think this is a great place to learn and exchange ideas but the folk that run it need some encouragement. That could be just a quick thanks to the mods or maybe a small contribution towards the cost of running this site?

 

I'm more than happy to chip in with my contribution as I enjoy sharing what I know and learning from other members.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Gus Potter
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9 hours ago, Gus Potter said:

You're doing a one off project in a fantastic part of the UK. Why put a big plastic tank in the ground!

 

So that you can get permission to build and have water for the fire service if your house goes on fire! It's been a requirement for a long time

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