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Paynesville Press - November 29, 2006

Lake Henry Fire and Rescue
installs dry hydrant on Crow River

Should the need ever arise, the Lake Henry Fire and Rescue Department can draw water right from the Crow River, thanks to a dry hydrant installed near the bridge for Co. Rd. 19 on Saturday, Nov. 18.

Dry hydrant According to Dennis Fuchs with Stearns County Soil and Water District, a dry hydrant is a non-pressurized pipe system permanently installed in existing lakes, ponds, or streams that provides supply of water to a fire department tank truck. In rural areas, a lack of water mains and pressurized fire hydrants can sometimes impair a fire department's ability to do its job quickly and efficiently.

The Lake Henry Fire and Rescue Department installed a dry hydrant (as a water source for them and other fire dpartments) in the North Fork of the Crow River at the Co. Rd. 19 bridge on Saturday, Nov. 18.

The Lake Henry Fire and Rescue Department reapplied for a DNR grant (50-50 matching) to install a dry hydrant nearly a year ago, according to chief Kurt Frieler.

Installation of the intake pipe, as well as the J-hook that will create a deep pool in the North Fork of the Crow River, were done with the help of much volunteer labor, including several Lake Henry firemen, and donated equipment.

The dry hydrant is located about five miles west of Lake Henry on Co. Rd. 19, actually in the service area of the Belgrade Fire Department. The Lake Henry Fire and Rescue Department will use it as a back-up water source, should the cistern underneath their fire hall not prove sufficient to douse a fire.

In certain cases, should a fire be located closer to the dry hydrant than to Lake Henry, the department could use the dry hydrant as a principal water source.

Other departments in the area - including Belgrade, Paynesville, and New London - could also use the dry hydrant as a water source for a fire in that area.

A tanker truck needing water would just need to hook up to the intake pipe and draw water in the case of a fire.

The Lake Henry Fire and Rescue Department tested the dry hydrant after the installation of the intake pipe and J-hook into the Crow River on Saturday, Nov. 18.

Weather permitting, they plan to schedule a joint training exercise with neighboring fire departments to use the new dry hydrant.

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