01
Using Rainwater for Fire Protection According to NFPA

 

 

Fire Protection Water Solutions

Pioneer Water Tanks America exhibited and spoke at the 2019 National Fire Protection Association Conference & Expo. We provide residential and commercial water storage solutions with NFPA compliant fire protection options.

 

Pioneer Water Tanks America presented Using Rainwater for Fire Protection, with regards to NFPA 13 A.23.21.

 

Rainwater has become a sustainable water source for many applications. NFPA 13 A.23.21 stipulates that recycled or reclaimed water that has been properly analyzed for quality, is adequate for fire protection use. We will present successful past projects and general steps to implementing rainwater for fire protection.

Presentation Resources:

 

1. NFPA 13 Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems

https://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/all-codes-and-standards/list-of-codes-and-standards/detail?code=13

 

2. NFPA Dynamics of Wildfire: Where is there available water?

https://www.nfpa.org/assets/gallery/firewise/operationWater/step2_4.htm

 

3. Minnesota Stormwater Manual: Stormwater and rainwater harvest and use/reuse combined

https://stormwater.pca.state.mn.us/index.php?title=Stormwater_and_rainwater_harvest_and_use/reuse_combined

 

4. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Rainwater Harvesting for Fire Protection

https://rainwaterharvesting.tamu.edu/fire-protection/

 

5. The Jefferson Monticello Historical Preservation: Cisterns

https://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/cisterns

Using Rainwater for Fire Protection, NFPA 13 A.23.21. by Pioneer Water Tanks America

Pioneer Water Tanks are compliant with NFPA National Fire Protection Association standards for fire protection applications. Fire protection packages come with a complete set of engineer-approved drawings with an option to add an engineer-stamped cover letter specifically for the project.

 

 

We offer a wide variety of water-storage options with capacities ranging from 3,000 to 1,000,000 Gallons. Pioneer Water Tanks are backed by our industry-leading warranty, so you can rest easy knowing you have a fire-protection solution that will last.

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02

 

 

2019 Dealer and Installer Conference

The 2019 Pioneer Water Tanks America Dealer Conference: Leading the Way in Water happened on April 26th - 27th, at the Retreat at Balcones Springs in Marble Falls. The gathering included our dealer and installer network that came from Australia, Mexico, California, and from around Texas.

 

Scott Barnett with Pioneer Water Tanks opened with announcements and a presentation on the newest innovations and acquisition. Be on the lookout for Pioneer Water Tanks America announcing these developments from research and development.

Jessica Huntington followed with marketing presentations focusing on growing our markets and providing the best customer service in water storage. Pioneer Water Tanks Year in Review and Updates were presented by Ashlea Keith. Richard Dunfield followed with Fire Protection and Fire Fitting Options with an introduction to our featured speaker.

Jessica Huntington

Ashlea Keith

Richard Dunfield

Gilead R. Ziemba, P.E., M.Sc. Partner and Sr. Fire Protection Engineer for the Fire Protection Consulting Group, LLC (link) spoke on NFPA 22 Standard for Water Tanks for Fire Protection. Mr. Ziemba covered fire tank basics and their purpose, tank sizing, and components that align with NFPA 22 standards.

Colin Chatfield presented “Sales Process and Customer Tracking” focusing on his area of management, California.

 

Learn more about the water storage needs and solutions of California:

 

California Water Storage Tanks

 

California Fire Protection Water Tanks

Pioneer Water Tanks America announced the 2019 Awards to showcase our network of businesses.

Top Texas Sales 2019 Award Winner Harvested Rain Solutions is based in Austin, Texas as the Rainwater Management Company that Makes Every Drop Count!

 

Harvested Rain Solutions was founded in 2008 to make better use of the tens of thousands of gallons of water that run off roofs every year in the Austin area. Rainwater harvesting is a solution to water shortages that originates literally right over our heads! HRS is a Texas State Licensed Irrigation Contractor and can help with the full development of an RWH system from collection to use.

 

HarvestedRainSolutions.com

 

Call (877) 693-2166

The 2019 Top California Sales Award goes to WaterMark H20 in Santa Cruz, California, providing complete design, installation water solutions for residential and commercial projects across California.

Watermark Rainwater Harvesting

The Watermark H2O team has collectively been in the residential and commercial building industry for well over forty years. Providing water storage, fire protection, greywater solutions throughout California.

 

WatermarkRainwaterHarvesting.com

 

Call (408) 690-7581

The 2019 Top Pioneer Water Tanks Mexico Sales Winner Apromsa meets the needs of industrial, agricultural and livestock water storage, as well as provide other system solutions.

 

"Nuestra misión es satisfacer las necesidades de almacenamiento de agua de nuestro principal cliente usted."

 

Apromsa.com

 

Call 01 (871) 7 57 52 78

The Lakota Water Company extensive rainwater and water treatment systems across the United States with excellence in customer service is recognized as 2019 Best in Customer Service with Pioneer Water Tanks America.

Lakota Water Company in Texas

 

Incorporating in 2002 as Rossing’s, Inc. d/b/a Lakota Water Company, the staff and crews have serviced nearly 1,000 customers across the nation with either rainwater harvesting or water treatment needs, both residential and commercial. Specializing in the installation of large-scale potable rainwater harvesting systems, the company is also known for consulting, design, and inspections of rainwater systems.

 

LakotaWaterCompany.com

 

Call (512) 858-0860

The 2019 Big Project Award is Harvest Rain // Rainwater Services for their Champion Ranch XL 150/02 Pioneer Water Tanks with 180,000-Gallons of rainwater storage. Expect the biggest and best from this expert Dripping Springs, Texas-based company.

 

Harvest Rain is a full service rainwater company providing rainwater collection and turn-key NFPA fire protection systems for residential and commercial needs in Texas.

 

HarvestRain.com

 

Call 512-645-2955

FLOW Rainwater Systems, LLC are recognized as the 2019 Pioneer Water Tanks America Sales Growth Award and are based in the New Braunfels, Texas area. Talk with Flow Rainwater Systems to find the absolute best water storage solution to fit your needs and your budget.

FLOW wants to help you find the absolute best water storage solution to fit your needs and your budget. We network with some of the most qualified specialists in the industry to ensure you are getting what you pay for and walking with you every step of the process.

 

FlowRainwater.com

 

Call (832) 384-6550

All-Tex Irrigation & Supply stands out for 2019 Pioneer Water Tanks America Best Business Branding with projects that help their local San Angelo, Texas area and top-notch customer satisfaction. They are featured for their Kirby Park project and are local sponsors of several community events.

 

All-Tex Irrigation & Supply was established in 1987, we provide expertise in all your water needs. Serving San Angelo and the surrounding areas, we have solutions for irrigation systems, sprinkler systems, new wells, replacement wells, water pressure problems, and booster pump systems and more.

 

AllTexIrrigation.com

 

Call (325) 949-1172

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03

 

 

Providing Clean and Fresh Rainwater Storage

Rainwater harvesting is legal across America, with eight states that have restrictions. For example, Colorado residents can legally collect rainwater but only up to 150-Gallons, according to Colorado House Bill 16-1005 (2016)

 

(Learn More about the Legality of Rainwater Harvesting)

 

Rainwater is a clean, sustainable water source with the perfect pH for plants that is untouched by ground contamination. It’s a widely used water source, even in dry and arid regions. In Texas, it’s encouraged by the State with sales tax exemptions as well as local financial incentives. (Learn More)

Rainwater harvesting can be done on a small DIY scale with a rain barrel, but anything larger than that should require a professional who has the accreditation and experience. We recommend working with an ARCSA, American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association, Accredited rainwater professional to ensure that your system will be up to standard.

 

Successful rainwater systems start with a few considerations:

 

- the annual rainfall in your area

- what the water will be used for

- if the property has access to another water source such as a utility main or a water well

- Roof collection area, rooftop materials, downspout locations, and gutter system

Rainwater systems are designed for these considerations. You wouldn’t want a system that stores too much or too little rainwater to fulfill your water needs. Some residential and commercial properties will run their entire water system off of their rainwater tank, while yet others keep it separate to supply a specific purpose like irrigation.

The basic rainwater system breaks down to

 

The Rooftop Collection Area: True rainwater harvesting systems only use a building roof to collect rain from. Collecting water from anything else would probably be considered something else.

 

The Gutter System: The gutter system needs to have a filter that removes organic matter, like seamless gutters.

 

Downspouts and Conveyance: When a rainwater system is installed after a house is already built, the location of everything can determine where the rainwater system is located.

 

Rainwater Storage Tank: Pioneer Water Tanks are the top of the line water storage system that ensures that your water is fresh and clean.

 

Pump / Filters / Other Accessories: All of these things are entirely dependent on the system needs and what it will be used for. Some systems use gravity, while others use pumps and filtration.

We supply Pioneer Water Tanks to keep rainwater fresh and clean for later use. Rainwater is protected within our exclusive AQUALINER® Fresh tank liner, that’s BPA-Free and NSF-61 Certified with antimicrobial technology embedded into the top layer. From storage to use, rainwater is used as a drinking water source and for domestic purposes worldwide.

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04

 

 

Collecting Rain Today for a Better Tomorrow

Turn your roof into a water collection source with rainwater harvesting. Texas has one of the most comprehensive laws protecting rainwater harvesting, the Texas House Bill 3391. In 2001, Texas excluded components of rainwater harvesting systems from sales tax, Section 151.355 of the Texas Tax Code.

 

To claim this exemption, the purchaser must furnish a Tax Exemption Application Form 01‐339 to the supplier at the time of purchase. Link to the Sales Tax Exemption Form for Texas:

Harvesting rainwater for later use in irrigation, as a drinking water source or replacing your other water needs:

 

- Saves money on water purchasing through a utility or other water source

- Reduces demand on the municipal water supply

- Reduces flooding, erosion, and contamination of surface water with contaminants

- Provides a clean, pH balanced water source that is free of salts and other minerals that can harm plant root growth.

Rainwater harvesting can be used both in large-scale landscapes, such as parks, schools, commercial sites, parking lots and apartment complexes, and for personal home use. ARCSA, the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association, is a nationally recognized accredited professional organization that can certify that the company that you work with will design and install a system up to standard.

 

The following are a few of the vast array of free resources and manuals about rainwater harvesting.

AgriLife Extension Rainwater Harvesting Manual
Link to Manual

The Texas Water Development Board Rainwater Harvesting Manual
Link to Manual

Rainwater Harvesting Potential and Guidelines for Texas, by the The Texas Water Development Board
Link to Guide

Rainwater Harvesting for Livestock by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
Link to Guide

TCEQ Harvesting, Storing, and Treating Rainwater for Domestic Indoor Use
Link to Guide

Rainwater Harvesting and ARCSA, the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association
Link to Guide

 

All of the resources above are linked below with the full urls listed.

 

The Texas Water Development Board Rainwater Harvesting Manual

http://www.twdb.texas.gov/publications/brochures/conservation/doc/RainwaterHarvestingManual_3rdedition.pdf

 

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Rainwater Harvesting Manual

https://pioneerwatertanksamerica.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/AgriLifeRainwaterHarvestingManual.pdf

 

Rainwater Harvesting Potential and Guidelines for Texas, by The Texas Water Development Board

https://www.edwardsaquifer.net/pdf/RainwaterCommitteeFinalReport.pdf

 

Rainwater Harvesting for Livestock by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

https://txmg-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wcmg/files/2012/05/RWHLivestock8.pdf

 

TCEQ Harvesting, Storing and Treating Rainwater for Domestic Indoor Use

https://txmg-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wcmg/files/2012/05/TCEQDomestic3.pdf

 

Rainwater Harvesting and ARCSA, the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association

http://www.arcsa-edu.org/Files/ARCSA_Basic_08_11_TriFold2012.pdf

 

Our local dealer and installer network provide rainwater systems across Texas for homes and businesses. Call or fill out the contact form to get started.

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05

 

 

Fire Protection Water Tanks

Pioneer Water Tanks comply with NFPA 22 standards for fire protection water tanks. The tank body and roof are made of Zincalume® Steel, proven to withstand fire immersion. Our full lines of firefighting adapters and nozzles are compatible with fire hoses across North America.

 

Pioneer Water Tanks can be configured for cyclonic and seismic conditions, as well as heavy industrial zones. Additional accessories are available for different compliance needs. Outfit your tank with anti-vortex fittings and firefighting adapters for quick access during a fire emergency.

 

Commercial and residential properties that do not have an adequate water supply for local authority requirements can be supplied with a water storage tank for a building permit. We offer optional engineering packages for the permit process when needed. Our engineering packages are based on for the project and application.

Why Choose Pioneer Water Tanks for Fire Protection?

 

1. Pioneer Water Tanks are used for fire protection as the longest-lasting water storage that can double as a drinking water source. Our fire protection water tanks work well with local fire code authority requirements and our optional engineering packages make the permit process easier.

2. Pioneer fire-protection tanks are designed to exceed NFPA National Fire Protection Association standards, as required by the American Fire Code, for fire-water storage. Fire protection packages come with a complete set of engineer-approved drawings.

3. Pioneer offers a wide variety of water-storage options with capacities ranging from 3,000 to 1,000,000 Gallons. Pioneer Water Tanks are backed by our industry-leading warranty, so you can rest easy knowing you have a fire-protection solution that will last.

4. Pioneer Water Tanks are made of Zincalume® steel that has been proven to withstand fire immersion and resist corrosion, ensuring the safety of your water supply in even the worst emergencies. Our full line of anti-vortex and fire-fighting adapters ensure water is always available for quick access during a fire emergency.

5. Pioneer Water Tanks’ 30-Year dedication to providing the longest-lasting water storage that is always ready, works well for the rough environment and for commercial applications. Our tanks are used as a water source for firefighting for properties without any other water source and as a water source for fire departments. Our standard capacities and accessories are quoted to the project requirements to get you the best price possible.

 

Go to Fire Protection Water Tanks Website

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06

 

 

Only Pioneer Provides Rainwater Systems with Long-Lasting Storage

 

California Senate Bill No. 558, or as it was first known as Prop 72, passed and was approved by the Governor on January 31, 2018. This act added and repealed Section 74.8 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code to exclude property taxes to new construction of rainwater harvesting systems.

 

Starting January 1, 2019:

 

- Newly created rainwater systems can be excluded from property tax reassessment with filing a claim

- New homes built with rainwater systems can apply for this exclusion, as long as it’s the first home purchaser and it hasn’t been yet claimed

- Tax incentives for rainwater systems are being offered to enhance the state’s water conservation goals

 

The Bill is effective January 1, 2019, to promote the use of rainwater systems as a sustainable water source for both homes and businesses. The property tax exclusion applies only until the building changes ownership however the first purchaser of a home with a rainwater system installed can also claim the exclusion when the owner-builder incorporates the system. This applies to the first homeowner as long as the owner-builder had never intended to occupy or use the building, and did not yet claim the exclusion so that the purchaser buys the building before it’s assessed to the owner-builder.

 

To claim the property tax exemption for new rainwater systems, taxpayers must file a claim with County tax assessors and provide any documentation necessary to identify the value attributable to the rainwater system, including any rebates. The assessor evaluates the claim and subtracts the value of the rainwater system from the purchase price to determine its new value for property taxes.

 

This bill specifies that a “rain water capture system is a facility designed to capture, retain and store rain water flowing off a building rooftop or other man-made above the ground hard surface for subsequent onsite use.”

 

Rainwater systems with Pioneer Water Tanks work well in California since they can be installed with options to add functionality to your systems, like the addition of firefighting nozzles and adapters. Pioneer Water Tanks store the rainwater within the BPA-free, NSF-61 certified for drinking water AQUALINER® Fresh tank liner. The liner storing the water is then protected within the Zincalume Steel tank body that is certified to withstand fire immersion and last without corrosion 200% longer than galvanized steel.

 

Pioneer Water Tanks are the longest-lasting rainwater storage tank, and we include our 20-year warranty to back it. Our systems are delivered in a crate for onsite installation, even in the most rural of areas in California.

More Resources about Rainwater Harvesting in California:

 

The City of San Diego Guide to Rainwater Harvesting

https://www.sandiego.gov/sites/default/files/legacy/water/pdf/conservation/rainwaterguide.pdf

 

ARCSA Resources:

https://www.arcsa.org/page/6

 

From the SWRCB Website:

The California Water Code, section 1201, defines water subject to appropriation and authorizes the State Water Board to grant permits for water flowing in any natural channel. Rooftops are not a natural channel, therefore harvest of rainwater from rooftops does not require a water right permit. The State Water Board encourages methods of water collection or diversion, such as rooftop rainwater harvest, that reduce demand on streams and reduce water quality problems associated with stormwater runoff.

http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/board_info/faqs.shtml#rooftop

Pioneer Water Tanks Richard Dunfield

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07

 

 

Only Pioneer Provides Rainwater Systems with Long-Lasting Storage

The Lower Colorado River Authority offers rebates for rainwater systems to qualifying customers. The LCRA may provide rebates for 50% of the total cost, up to $600, per residential property for upgrades to conserve water and increase efficiency.

 

Rebate eligibility for LCRA customers is based on:

 

- Being a Lower Colorado River Authority domestic use customer.

- You are a resident who receives water from one of these LCRA water customers. The City of Austin customers are eligible for rebates from Austin Water. See the Rebate from Austin Water

- The rainwater system must be for non-potable use.

- The system must have a storage capacity of 100 gallons or more.

- Receipts and photos of the equipment up for the rebate must be submitted with the application.

 

Go to the application:

The rainwater harvesting system rebate program is a part of the Highland Lakes Watershed Ordinance to protect water quality as well as is an initiative to respond to stormwater pollution. Rainwater harvesting systems capture rooftop rain runoff for later sustainable use, instead of letting it run off and become possible stormwater pollution. Using a rainwater system for domestic purposes also reduces utility water use that can help with water availability.

 

On average, a rainwater system can collect 600 gallons of water per inch of rain for every 1,000 square feet of rooftop collection space. The State of Texas is one of the most encouraging state governments for rainwater systems with the House Bill 3391 (2011). HB 3391 is one of the most far-reaching and comprehensive pieces of legislation regarding rainwater harvesting in recent years. Link to Bill

 

All rainwater collection/harvesting equipment is exempt from sales tax, within the State of Texas, per Section 151.355 of the Texas Tax Code. Link to Tax Code. To claim this exemption, the purchaser must furnish a Tax Exemption Application Form 01‐339 to the supplier at the time of purchase. An itemized receipt must be submitted with the application within 60‐days of installation. The receipt must include date, vendor name and address, the amount paid, and capacity of the tank.

 

See the Tax Exemption Form

Eligible water customers of LCRA include:

 

Aqua Texas (Barton Creek Lakeside Utilities), Aqua Texas (Rivercrest Water System), Buena Vista Water System, City of Burnet, City of Cedar Park, City of Cottonwood Shores, City of Granite Shoals, City of Horseshoe Bay, City of Lago Vista, City of Leander, City of Marble Falls, City of Pflugerville, Corix Utilities, Dripping Springs Water Supply Corporation, Hays County, WCID #1, Hays County, WCID #2, Reunion Ranch, WCID, Hidden Valley Subdivision, Cooperative Hurst Creek, MUD, Inverness Point Water System, Jonestown Water Supply, Corporation Kingsland Water Supply, Corporation Lakeway, MUD #1, Lazy Nine, MUD 1-A, Sail Haven Water System, Llano County, MUD #1 Loop 360 Water Supply, Corporation Pecan Utilities, Company Peninsula Bluffs, PK-RE Development, Company Senna Hills, MUD, Travis County, MUD #10, Travis County, MUD #12, Travis County MUD #4, Travis County WCID #17, Travis County WCID #18, Travis County WCID #20, Travis County WCID, Point Venture Village of Briarcliff, West Travis County, PUA Windermere Oaks Water Supply Corporation

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08
Rainwater rebates in New Braunfels Texas

 

 

Only Pioneer Provides Rainwater Systems with the Longest-Lasting Storage

The City of New Braunfels in Texas offers rebates for rainwater systems based on $0.50 per gallon of water storage. The maximum rebate allowed is $250 for qualifying New Braunfels utility customers. This compensation program is with the New Braunfels Utility office and is paid as a credit on water billing accounts, so to qualify the business or residence must be a customer of NBU. This rebate program is ending soon, one requirement is that the application is being accepted before July 31, 2017.

 

Go to the application:

There are a few requirements for systems including:

 

1. Systems’ overflow must be designed to prevent erosion or localized flooding. Pioneer Water Tanks’ include the largest overflow on the market with a six-inch diameter to prevent incidents.

 

2. Rain barrels and tanks should be elevated at least 6 inches off the ground. Pioneer Water Tanks include a sand pad or cement ring beam option that qualifies for this requirement.

 

3. If a rainwater tank is installed, it must have a first flush system designed to divert and discard the first 10 gallons for every 1000 square foot of rain catchment area.

 

4. Water storage tanks need to be opaque or painted to prevent light from entering. With a Pioneer Water Tank, this is never an issue since it’s a bolted tank with the water protected within the five-layered Aqualiner tank liner. The liner has a 65-year lifespan and is NSF/ANSI 61 certified as well as BPA-Free.

 

5. Rain storage openings should be covered with screening small enough to prevent mosquitoes. The filter basket that is included with a Pioneer Water Tank has a thousand count mesh that goes beyond requirements to prevent mosquito and other contamination.

 

6. The application for the rebate must include a detailed drawing of the catchment vessel location.

 

7. The rebates can be used for non-potable systems only and cannot be used for drinking.

 

8. The rainwater systems cannot be connected to NBU’s potable water system.

 

9. A final inspection of the rainwater storage tank by an NBU Resource Conservation Representative is required to qualify.

Rainwater rebates in New Braunfels Texas

Rainwater rebates in New Braunfels Texas

All rainwater collection/harvesting equipment is exempt from sales tax, within the State of Texas, per Section 151.355 of the Texas Tax Code. To claim this exemption, the purchaser must furnish a Tax Exemption Application Form 01‐339 to the supplier at the time of purchase.

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09

 

 

Ready to Supply Water in an Emergency or For Everyday

The Harris County Fire Code requires enough water supply/pressure, called fire flow, in case of fire emergencies.

 

507.1 Required water supply. An approved water supply capable of supplying the required fire flow for fire protection shall be provided to premises upon which facilities, buildings or portions of buildings are hereafter constructed or moved into or within the jurisdiction.

 

All New Fire Alarm and Fire Sprinkler Systems require permits and plan submittals in Harris County. New residential and commercial buildings also require permits, with some projects needing a supplemented water supply for fire flow requirements.

Pioneer Water Tanks America offers supplemental and complete water storage systems that comply with NFPA 22 Standards for Water Tanks for Private Fire Protection‎. Our standard range of capacities 5,000-Gallons to 1,000,000-Gallons. We can also provide custom capacities, sizes and for different application requirements.

 

Call Now (877) 223-7784

 

See the Technical Specifications of the Tank Models

 

Our complete engineering submittal packages provide detailed drawings, engineering calculations, and Texas engineer stamped foundation designs for easier permit submission. Pioneer Water Tanks have full lines of commercial accessories to fulfill local authority requirements to make your tank multifunctional.

 

We support a nationwide dealer and installation network that can provide an efficient, onsite, accredited installation without the use of heavy machinery. Pioneer Water Tanks are installed with our proprietary jacking system for larger industrial projects within a week.

 

Pioneer Water Tanks are proven to be a reliable water source that can include fire hose hookups as well as firefighting nozzles. The cost-effective capacity can also double as an emergency water source since the tank liner is NSF 61 certified for drinking water.

 

This is one example of a 65,000-Gallon fire protection water tank in Houston, Texas. This project was provided by Rainwater Equipment, RainwaterEquipment.com

Get Your Best Price on Water Storage

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10

 

 

Providing Harris County with Water Storage for Fire Protection

Harris County requires permits and plan submittals for new fire alarm and fire sprinkler systems to include providing the required water supply, the fire flow, for the building.

 

FIRE-FLOW: The flow rate of a water supply, measured at 20 pounds per square inch (psi) (138 kPa) residual pressure, that is available for fire fighting.

 

FIRE-FLOW CALCULATION AREA: The floor area, in square feet (m2) used to determine the required fire flow.

 

Link to Harris County Fire Flow worksheet:

The Harris County Fire Flow worksheet is based off of the National Fire Academy (NFA) method of calculating fire flow.

 

Needed fire flow = [(length x width) ÷ 3] x percent of involvement

 

Example: For a 30' x 50' building that’s 25 percent involved, the flow would be 30 x 50 = 1,500 square feet, divided by 3 = 500 x 0.25 = 125 GPM.

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Houston Fire Code as Relevant to Fire Flow

 

507.1 Required water supply. An approved water supply capable of supplying the required fire flow for fire protection shall be provided to premises upon which facilities, buildings or portions of buildings are hereafter constructed or moved into or within the jurisdiction.

 

508.1 Required water supply. An approved water supply capable of supplying the required fire flow for fire protection shall be provided to premises upon which facilities, buildings or portions of buildings are hereafter constructed or moved into or within the jurisdiction. A water supply as otherwise required by this section will not be required if the responsible emergency services district or fire department provides a letter stating they can provide sufficient fire flow for the specific project.

 

2808.18 Fire protection response plan: • Local fire department is a participant in the plan • Local fire department has a copy of the fire prevention response plan 32 • Employees are trained and can perform their role in an emergency • Heavy equipment with trained operators to separate and work piles is on site or immediately available • Adequate water supply: fixed hydrants, portable tanks, ponds, other sources • Adequate pressure and flow rate at all locations on site (minimum of 250 GPM at 60 PSI)

Link to the City of Houston Fire Code: Link

One fire sprinkler can use on average eight gallons-per-minute (GPM). Most home fire sprinkler systems accommodate two simultaneous flowing sprinklers, with a minimum need of 16 GPM to supply them with water. The size of a house, local building requirements and the water source may require more sprinklers or be required at a higher pump rate. One or two sprinklers must flow for a minimum of 7-10 minutes, which can be provided by a well tank or a rainwater tank when sprinklers are not supplied by a water distribution system. Fire sprinkler systems that aren’t supplied enough by a utility water source, need an on hand water supply of at least 15% of the total required fire flow (but exact percentage is based on local authority requirements).

Additional water storage ensures that your property has water on hand for emergencies, typically with its own pump system that won’t go down in case of electricity failure. This becomes even more important, if not required, based on how rural the property location is.

 

Rural water distribution systems that are found to be inadequate to supply 16 GPM for fire sprinklers, would probably fall short of the minimum code-required plumbing demand, and it would surely fall far short of the 1,000+ GPM needed from fire hydrants to support a fire department extinguishing a fire in a home without a sprinkler system.

In order to figure out the exact fire flow requirements, refer to the local Fire and Building Codes, as well as refer to the local pre-inspection requirements. If fire flow must be measured in regards to the local Fire Code, the ICC International Code Council provides a chart to show fire flow requirements based on the of building construction and square footage. The ICC Construction Types that determine the fire flow, are listed in the drop-down below. The calculation uses the ICC minimum required fire-flow and flow duration for buildings.

TYPE I-A--Fire Resistive Non-combustible (Commonly found in high-rise buildings and Group I occupancies).

    • 3 Hr. Exterior Walls*
    • 3 Hr. Structural Frame
    • 2 Hr. Floor/Ceiling Assembly
    • 1 ½ Hr. Roof Protection

 

TYPE I-B--Fire Resistive Non-Combustible (Commonly found in mid-rise office & Group R buildings).

  • 2 Hr. Exterior Walls*
  • 2 Hr. Structural Frame
  • 2 Hr. Ceiling/Floor Separation
  • 1 Hr. Ceiling/Roof Assembly

 

TYPE II-A--Protected Non-Combustible (Commonly found in newer school buildings).

  • 1 Hr. Exterior Walls
  • 1 Hr. Structural Frame
  • 1 Hr. Floor/Ceiling/Roof Protection

 


 

TYPE II-B--Unprotected Non-Combustible (the Most common type of non-combustible construction used in
commercial buildings).

  • Building constructed of non-combustible materials but these materials have no fire resistance.

 

TYPE III-A--Protected Combustible (Also known as "ordinary" construction with brick or block walls and a
wooden roof or floor assembly which is 1-hour fire protected).

  • 2 Hr. Exterior Walls*
  • 1 Hr. Structural Frame
  • 1 Hr. Floor/Ceiling/Roof Protection

 

TYPE III-B--Unprotected Combustible (Also known as "ordinary" construction; has brick or block walls with a
wooden roof or floor assembly which is not protected against fire. These buildings are frequently found in
"warehouse" districts in older cities.)

  • 2 Hr. Exterior Walls*
  • No fire resistance for structural frame, floors, ceilings, or roofs.

 


 

TYPE IV--Heavy Timber (also known as "mill" construction; to qualify all wooden members must have a
minimum nominal dimension of 8 inches.)

  • 2 Hr. Exterior Walls*
  • 1 Hr. Structural Frame or Heavy Timber
  • Heavy Timber Floor/Ceiling/Roof Assemblies

 

TYPE V-A--Protected Wood Frame (Commonly used in the construction of newer apartment buildings; there is
no exposed wood visible.)

  • 1 Hr. Exterior Walls
  • 1 Hr. Structural Frame
  • 1 Hr. Floor/Ceiling/Roof

 

TYPE V-B--Unprotected Wood Frame (Examples of Type V-N construction are single-family homes and
garages. They often have exposed wood so there is no fire resistance.)

The following calculation uses the ICC Fire Flow based on the above construction types of square footage of the building. The chart below reflects the calculation as well.

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