A common problem in rural areas is that they lack access to a municipal water supply, making fire suppression a difficult task. Fire trucks carry water with them, but they can only hold so much. In municipalities, water from fire hydrants connected to the water supply is used to supplement the truck’s supply. However, in rural areas, firefighters need to resort to static water supplies such as lakes and ponds, which may or may not be feasible depending on their proximity to the fire.
With this in mind, Howard County has undergone a project to install underground fire suppression tanks throughout its western rural areas. The project began in 2006 with the installation of a 30,000-gallon tank in Clarksville by Tanks Direct, which has supplied and installed nearly half the tanks for this initiative. In August of 2012, Tanks Direct installed the 14th tank of the project off of Carriage Mill Road in Woodbine. According to explorehoward.com, “The county has set aside $1.25 million per year, enough to install from five to 10 tanks each year, from 2013 through 2017. If funding continues, the department will have 104 tanks located throughout the county by 2020…When completed, the county will have one 30,000 gallon tank within one square mile of any possible incident.”
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