Dry Hydrants – Important Fire Protection
Fall and winter bring withering vegetation, plus heightened risks for range fires. Protect your property with a dry hydrant. Insurance savings help pay costs.
Successful rural firefighting hinges on sustained water supplies. If trucks must travel long distances, delays mean the difference in extinguishing the blaze quickly or heavy damage. Dry hydrants are pipes extended into deepest zones of your pond. In the event of a blaze, firefighters draft from a shoreline hydrant.
Plans can be researched at many forestry service websites. Or contact your insurance agent for recommendations. Local volunteer fire departments welcome such service. Ask them where you might view an existing dry hydrant in the area.
Siphons Are Bottom Release Systems Too
If you don’t have a bottom release pipe in your pond, there’s another effective alternative. Add a siphon drain.
Siphons are tubes constructed in an inverted U shape. They cause liquid to flow upward, above the surface of a reservoir, with no pump. They are powered as liquid flows down the tube under the pull of gravity, then discharges at a level lower than the surface from which it originated in the reservoir. Once started, a siphon requires no additional energy to keep liquid flowing up and out. The siphon will draw until air or surrounding gas breaks the siphon or until the siphon outlet equals the level of the reservoir.
As outlined in previous newsletters, stagnant bottom water creates water quality issues. If you don’t have an aeration system, periodically discharging dead zones becomes important. Fish can use more areas of the water column.
Stagnant water can be recycled and replaced periodically. Common installations are constructed with four to six-inch plastic pipe for longer life. Intakes are placed at desired depths. Pipe is run up the face of the dam, buried just under the surface across the top, and dropped off the back slope to a length just below the intake level. Accessories can be added to automatically initiate flow during high water events and stopped when water elevation returns to normal pool. The key to successful siphons is AIRTIGHT seals and joints. They MUST be connected securely. If the slightest leakage occurs, air will seep into the system and interrupt flow.
Dam height and related engineering must be analyzed to determine if your pond is a candidate for a siphon. Appropriate governmental agencies must be consulted if your lake is in a flood control program. Professional dirt contractors can assist with evaluation. Create thoroughly designed goals and implementation plans. Discharge rates should be calculated so you know when to stop flow. There are stories about folks who didn’t make a plan, started siphoning, and returned to find their lake totally drained. Now might be a good time to plan such a project if lake levels are low.