A small pond on Oak Bluff will be turned into a water source by early next year for use if a fire breaks out in that neighborhood.
The project stems from a fire that destroyed a home on nearby Vermillion Drive in February 2016. Water supply was a challenge for firefighers at the scene because there are no hydrants in that area. Shortly after the blaze, people in the neighborhood began working with the fire department on solutions.
Last winter, those residents asked the town council to do something. One proposal was to install a dry hydrant connected to a privately owned pond on Oak Bluff so firefighters could draw water from it if needed.
Town Manager Brandon Robertson said recently town staff are nearly done designing the project, with the hope that construction bids are solicited in December so work can be done early next year.
“This will be like having a fire hydrant on the road, just that we would pull up a tanker truck and pull water out of the pond rather than from a hydrant,” said town Fire Marshal Jamie DiPace. “It’s just another available water source.”
DiPace said a tanker truck could fill up from the pond and transport the water to the scene of a fire, or a hose could be connected to the dry hydrant and run to where water is needed. He said water from the Oak Bluff pond would be used in that neighborhood but could be transported to another area if needed.
Robertson said the three property owners have said they are willing to let the town use it.
Town officials estimate the project will cost as much as $60,000. Robertson said a check for $48,000 the town received in September from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reimburse it for costs incurred after a nor’easter hit the area in October 2011 will help pay for part of the work.