Bayham eyes tapping ponds for firefighting

·2 min read

Bayham councillors have approved a proposal from Fire Chief Harry Baranik to install “dry hydrants” on a half-dozen farm ponds in the north end of Bayham, to draw water from in case of fires.

At a council meeting on Thursday, Aug. 19, he reported that water pressure in Vienna and Port Burwell dropped whenever fires were being fought.

Without municipal water service in Straffordville or Eden, firefighters trucked water from Vienna to those sites if needed, again causing the same issue.

That water system hadn’t been tested for its ability to supply enough water for such purposes in 45 years, he noted.

He suggested immediately purchasing a portable pump so firefighters could draw water from other sources, such as farm ponds, he said. The $6,000 cost could be covered by his budget for this year.

He also recommended conducting “flow tests” in Vienna and Port Burwell next year, to test the water pressure in existing hydrants and finding the best ones to pump water from.

That would cost about $11,000, he stated.

He wanted to install “dry hydrants,” connected to an outdoor water source such as a pond, at six sites next year at an estimated cost of $2,500 each.

After next year, two dry hydrants would be installed annually until the fire department had as many as needed.

Chief Baranik also suggested that, given residential growth in Straffordville and Eden, any future subdivisions should at least have partial water servicing for firefighting purposes only.

That would require an amendment to Bayham’s official plan, he added.

Councillor Valerie Donnell asked if that cost would be borne by the developer or the municipality.

Chief Baranik said his intention would be for the developer to pay.

Cr. Dan Froese said, “Hey, I’m part of the farming community and if you need connections (to gain access to ponds), I would be more than willing to help for the betterment of the community.”

Jeff Helsdon, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Aylmer Express

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