Dry hydrants have a permanently installed piping system that provides access to a water source other than a pressurized water system. Drafting sites have no permanently installed piping and provide access to a water source other than a pressurized water system. Water sources can include lakes, streams, ponds, and tanks. Swimming pools are not acceptable regardless of size, design, or equipment available. Each point at which a fire department can obtain water that meets the following criteria will be considered a separate water system with a single hydrant in the application of the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule.


1. A Water Supply Capacity able to produce a minimum flow of two hundred fifty (250) gallons per minute for a period of two (2) hours, plus consumption at the maximum daily rate. In sizing impounded water, allow for two (2) feet of unavailable water above the suction point to prevent vortex or whirlpool formation and two (2) feet of unavailable water on the surface if the supply is not protected from freezing. This is required for both dry hydrants and drafting sites.

2. A Reliable Water Supply able to produce the minimum flow (in 1. above) at all times during the year with provision made to insure that the supply is available during floods and during freezing weather. The supply should be kept free of moss and/or algae. The supply must be available without exceeding a total head loss of twenty (20) feet (See No. 5 below) or exceeding a fifteen (15) foot lift, during a drought with an average fifty (50) year frequency. Available supply during an average fifty (50) year frequency to be certified by a registered professional engineer, registered hydrologist, or registered geologist. This is required for both dry hydrants and drafting sites.

3. Accessible Water Supply by an all-weather road. An all-weather road is defined as concrete, asphalt, or gravel that is properly maintained, including snow removal and sanding, as required. Water must be delivered at the minimum flow within 5 minutes of the first arriving pumper or apparatus. This is required for both dry hydrants and drafting sites.

4. A Water Usage Agreement that allows the fire department to use the water and equipment for fire-fighting operations as well as testing and training is required. The Bureau would appreciate it if the agreement contained a provision that the Bureau is notified if the agreement is canceled. The parties to the agreement will be the fire department and the owner of the real property and/or the water right holder. This is needed for water on private property and/or in situations where the water right holder could restrict use of water.

5. A Design Worksheet based on the 1999 Edition or newer of NFPA 1142 B-5.3.3 or equivalent that produces a total head loss of less than 20 feet should be available for review. This is needed for dry hydrants.

6. Positive Identification of the dry hydrants and/or drafting site by reflective sign. (See figure B-5.3(b) in NFPA 1142 1999 Edition or newer). It will be the responsibility of the fire department and/or property owner to name each pumper connection or drafting site. The Bureau would prefer unique names within the graded area. The name will be used to identify the supply in Bureau publications. This is required for both dry hydrants and drafting sites.

8. Fire Department must agree to test dry hydrants at least annually. Test should follow that recommended in Figure B-5.4.1. of the 1999 Edition or newer of NFPA 1142. Test must include pump test and backflushing. Test results must be available for Bureau review. It's highly recommended that the sites be inspected at least quarterly by the owner or fire department. This is needed for dry hydrants.