WILLIAMSTOWN -- The Williamstown Fire District is pondering the addition of four dry hydrants to areas of the town not served by the existing fire hydrant system.
Fire Chief Craig Pedercini said Wednesday afternoon that he and his officers had met recently with Mark Stinson, of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, to review details of installing and operating dry hydrants, and possible locations for them around town. Those locations included Blair and Hopper roads, Five Corners and the intersection of Torrey Woods and Oblong roads, he said.
"We took the tour and what we found is that the Blair Road bridge is a pretty promising area to install a dry hydrant," he said.
A dry hydrant is tied into a pond, stream or brook, and can be used by firefighters to draft water from those sources to fight a fire. Pedercini said in the case of the Blair Road location, the hydrant would be tied into the Green River.
The district has also pinpointed sites to install dry hydrants at the other three areas, he said.
"The reason we're looking into this is because the district currently doesn't have a tanker, and when we have a confirmed structure fire outside the hydrant area, we have to call in mutual aid and set up a tanker shuttle," he said.
Mutual aid would be provided by one or more of the fire departments outside of the town.
It's also safer for firefighters to hook up hoses to dry hydrants instead
The cost of installing a dry hydrant is dependent upon the site and how much work would need to be done there in order to install the hydrant, he said.
"At this point, I couldn't venture a guess as to the cost," he said.
The last hydrants connected to the town's water system heading south are at Bee Hill and Gale roads and Stratton Road at Longview Terrace. The farthest hydrant to the north is on Bulkley Street before Northwest Hill Road. Hydrants also line Route 7 (North Street and Simonds Road) to the Vermont border, and there are some hydrants on the east side of North Hoosac Road that belong to North Adams, Pedercini said.
The fire district has one existing dry hydrant at the intersection of Green River and Riverview roads that was put in by the state when it replaced the bridge on Green River Road, he said. There are two other dry hydrants in South Williamstown that he knows of, which are privately owned.
To reach Meghan Foley, email firstname.lastname@example.org.