Fire Underwriters Survey > Superior
Alternative Water Supplies for Public Fire Protection
Alternative water supplies include water supplies other than those that are
defined as pressurized, municipal-type water supply systems. Generally
speaking fire fighting operations are dependent on water and/or other
extinguishing agents to succeed. In developed areas, water supplies are
provided through a network of distribution pipes, storage and pumping
without municipal-type water supplies, fire fighting presents a
significantly greater challenge. Historically various methods have been
utilized to deliver water from some source location to the fireground. The
bucket line is an example of one of the historical methods of delivering
water to a fire. Generally speaking these types of water supply delivery
methods were not effective with respect to reducing property damage.
advent of automotive fire apparatus and road infrastructure, the capacity to
move water from a source location to the fire ground has improved
dramatically. The fundamental steps in a shuttle operation are as follows:
set up pumper apparatus at fire event and deliver water from
temporary storage facility (ex. portable tank) through fire pump to fire;
draft water (from a location where water supplies are known to be
reliable and accessible) into a mobile water supply apparatus
move water from source location to fire event using mobile water
dump water into temporary storage facility (ex. portable tank) at
fire event location
repeat shuttle cycle.
Levels of Service
Unrecognized Shuttle Service
level of shuttle service provided by a community does not meet the minimum
benchmarks set out in NFPA 1142, then the level of service will not be
recognized for fire insurance grading purposes.
Standard Tanker Shuttle Service
recognized, for Standard Tanker Shuttle Service, the fire department must
have adequate equipment, training and continuous access to approved
alternative water supplies to deliver standard tanker shuttle service in
accordance with NFPA 1142, Standard on Water Supplies for Suburban and Rural
Fire Fighting. A formal plan for use of alternative water supplies must be
in place and available for review detailing the alternative water supply
sources and characteristics. To be credited, fire department access to
alternative water supplies must be 24 hours per day and 365 days per year.
Refill capacity from alternative water supplies using drafting techniques
requires a pump that has a minimum capacity of 450 LPM (100 Igpm) at 275-415
kPa (40-60 psi).
Tanker Shuttle Service
Accredited Superior Tanker Shuttle Service is a recognized equivalency to
hydrant protection. To be accredited, fire departments must commit to
maintaining a high standard of organization, and practice delivering the
service regularly. The fire department must be able to show through testing
and documentation that it can continuously provide water supplies in excess
of the minimum required for hydranted municipal-type water supplies.
recognized for Accredited Superior Tanker Shuttle Service, the system of
delivery of water supplies must be well-designed and well-documented. The
system of delivery must meet all of the requirements specified for Standard
Tanker Shuttle Service and must exceed the requirements in several key
The fire department must be able to prove through testing that
the specified requirements of Superior Tanker Shuttle Service can be met.
For personal lines insurance, the fire department must be able to
deliver a flow rate of not less than 950 LPM (200 IGPM) within 5 minutes of
arriving at the test site with the first major piece of apparatus (wheel
For commercial lines insurance, the fire department must be able
to deliver a flow rate of not less than 1900 LPM (400 IGPM) within 5 minutes
of arriving at the test site with the first major piece of apparatus (wheel
The fire department must be able to deliver the flow rate which
will be accredited within 10 minutes of arriving at the test site with the
first major piece of apparatus (wheel stop).
The volume of water available for fire fighting must be adequate
to sustain the accredited flow rate for a duration in accordance with the
Fire Underwriters Survey Water Supplies for Public Fire Protection
To be recognized for fire insurance grading purposes, the
protected property must be located within:
Commercial Lines (PFPC) - 5 km of a fire station AND 2.5 km of an
approved water supply point
Personal Lines (DPG) - 8 km of a fire station AND 5 km of an
approved water supply point
To be recognized for fire insurance grading purposes, the
water-delivery system must be available AND accessible 24 hours per day and
365 days per year;
To be recognized for fire insurance grading purposes, the water
capacity of alternative water supply sources must be documented for a
50-year drought cycle and documentation must be available for review.
Alternative evidence of reliability of supply will be considered on a case
by case basis.
Fire Underwriters Survey treats dry hydrants with suction points
in the same way as it treats standard (pressurized) fire hydrants. Any
property within 300 metres of a dry hydrant may be eligible for a Dwelling
Protection Grade better than 3B, provided the building is within eight
kilometres by road of a responding fire station, the fire department is
recognized as meeting the criteria for a Dwelling Protection Grade of 3A or
better and the fire department has adequate apparatus to effectively utilize
the dry hydrant through suction. Testing of the fire department's capacity
to utilize the dry hydrant and documentation of the dry hydrant design and
maintenance may also be required.
Fire Underwriters Survey may extend credit beyond 300 metres of a
fire hydrant when the responding fire company uses large-diameter hose, if
the fire department can demonstrate a standard procedure for deployment of
hose and also establish a relay operation as needed.
Historical Note: Fire Underwriters Survey has completed
Tanker Shuttle Service Testing since 1989 when the first such test was
Past systems for testing were somewhat less formal. See article: 1988 First Accreditation
Noted changes to Accredited Superior Tanker Shuttle Service
Defined coverage areas
Formalized requirements for Approved Water Supply Points
Publication of accredited flow rates to the Canadian Fire
Insurance Grading Index
5 year limit on accreditation period
Formalized requirements for documentation
Formalized integration of NFPA 1142
communities that are currently accredited to deliver Superior Tanker Shuttle
Service, a phase in period of 2 years will be used to allow communities time
to prepare for the re-accreditation process.
full Superior Tanker Shuttle Accreditation document can be downloaded here:
Superior Tanker Shuttle Service Accreditation Protocol
protocol is in draft and comments/feedback are welcomed: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why become Accredited to deliver
Tanker Shuttle Service?
owners in communities with accredited Superior Tanker Shuttle Service are
eligible for improved property insurance rates similar to those in
communities with municipal-type water supply systems.
Underwriters Survey does not set property insurance rates, however the
organization is responsible for publishing the Canadian Fire Insurance
Grading Index which is used by insurers across
to base insurance rates upon.
Underwriters Survey is recognized by the Insurance Bureau of Canada as being
the only organization authorised to publish fire insurance grades in
Outside Agencies Testing Tanker Shuttle Service?
Communities that have been tested by agencies other than Fire Underwriters
Survey may still be eligible to receive Fire Underwriters Survey
accreditation. Documentation of test procedures followed and test results
must be submitted to the offices of Fire Underwriters Survey in accordance
with the Superior Tanker Shuttle Service Protocol document. Applicants that
successfully meet the specified criteria will be accredited and receive
certification through the Fire Underwriters Survey' Registry of Accredited
Superior Tanker Shuttle Services. The Registry is promulgated to the Fire
Insurance Grading Index to ensure that the community's fire insurance grades
reflect the accreditation.
Compliments of and copyright by The fire
Fire Dept. Receives $3,000 Grant Toward Dry Hydrants
hydrants provide invaluable water supply when pressurized fire hydrants are
not an option or when additional water is needed.
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental
Protection awarded State Fire Assistance Dry Hydrant Grants to eight local
fire departments in seven communities, to help fund the cost of installing
14 dry hydrants.
These dry hydrants provide invaluable water supply when
pressurized fire hydrants are not an option or when additional water is
required to suppress difficult and/or large fires, the DEEP said in a press
These federal funds, which are administered by DEEP’s
Division of Forestry, have been made available through the United States
Forest Service, State Fire Assistance Program. This program provides a
$1,500 cost share reimbursement for the installation of each dry hydrant.
The United States Forest Service through State Fire
Assistance and Volunteer Fire Assistance programs provide financial support
to individual states. These programs help DEEP’s Division of Forestry
enhance the firefighting capacity of local fire departments throughout
Grants provided through these programs are cost share
grants and allow local matching funds to leverage the federal investment.
DEEP’s Division of Forestry has been distributing federal funds for dry
hydrant installation since 2001 which has assisted with over 250
installations throughout the state.