Rationalisation and reliability improvement of fire-fighting systems - the Novi Sad case study
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Water supply systems are commonly used to supply fire-fighting water in most EU countries. To provide fast access to water, the standard practice is to install a huge number of hydrants along the entire water supply network. Pipe diameters and working pressures in the network are designed for a combination of the maximum hourly water demand and fire-fighting needs. However, in poorly managed water supply systems most of the hydrants are out of order. Although hundreds of hydrants exist in the network, the reality is that fire water tankers are usually refilled at just a few locations that are equipped with reliable hydrants maintained by the fire brigades. This paper presents a somewhat different approach for the provision of fire-fighting water. The approach discussed in the paper is based on the concept being introduced in the city of Novi Sad, Serbia, by cooperative efforts of the municipal Water Supply and Sewerage Company and the fire-fighting service. In addition to presenting th...e experience gained in the case study, some generic conclusions are drawn. As an alternative to having a number of unreliable and small hydrants distributed throughout the network, the new concept proposes the construction of several strategically positioned filling stations, with high-flow-rate pillar hydrants and good access roads for the manoeuvering of fire water tankers. If properly designed and distributed around the city, such filling stations would increase the reliability of fire-fighting operations. The filling stations' design methodology presented in this paper is composed of a fire-risk spatial assessment, a hydraulic check of water supply network operations and a worst-case traffic load analysis. By employing the proposed methodology, not only can the reliability of fire-fighting operations be increased, but if accepted and implemented the methodology can lead to leakage reduction and improvements in water quality and the system's energy efficiency. In the test case of Novi Sad, a large number of hydrants were replaced by 14 filling stations that have been designed and constructed. A hydraulic model of the water supply network was calibrated using pressure-drop tests and flow capacity measurements of the existing hydrants. The model was used to examine the performance of the designed filling stations during their parallel operation. The paper presents the results of the test application and recommendations for the possible implementation of the concept.
Keywords:water supply system / fire flow / filling station / pillar hydrant / network rationalisation
Source:Urban Water Journal, 2009, 6, 2, 169-181
- European Community allocated by the European Agency for Reconstruction through the Ministry of the Republic of Serbia 04SER02/01/009