Supplementary Water Supply for Fire Fighting
The Ministry of Home Security in Great Britain recently announced that the Fire Council had approved an intensified program involving an expenditure of about $20,000,000 for tbe provision of supplementary water supplies for fire fighting. The object is to assure that in areas of high risk ordinary supplies of water shall be supplemented by auxiliary tanks and storage basins. Large supplies of steel tanks and of a special form of piping, which can quickly be laid and readily repaired, are being obtained.
To secure the rapid execution of the program, important organizational changes have been made. It is now the business of Regional Commissioners to see that the plan is effectively carried out by the local authorities concerned.
The central organization of the Home Office has been strengthened both administratively and technically. In particular, a special water section has been added to the chief engineer’s branch under a deputy chief engineer. The section will be responsible for giving technical guidance on water supply questions, and will be represented on the Fire Council.
Basements of Bombed Buildings Used
One simple method of providing static supplies of water for use as an auxiliary to the mains is to make use of the basements of buildings which have become untenable. Consideration has, of course, to be given to the location, its accessibility to the street, the construction and strength of the basement walls and their condition as a result of fire or bomb damage.
Mastic asphalt is the recognized material for the purpose of waterproofiing basements, owing to its adaptability, its ductility and the case with which it can be applied to brick or concrete surfaces. The material arrives at the site of the work ready for application in mechanical mixers and sets hard in the course of an hour or so. It has no toxic effect on the water even after long periods of storage.
Little preparation work is called for, but on occasion it may be found necessary on account of superficial damage, to level up the surfaces of the wall or floor with a sand and cement screed. The asphalt will remain in position without any internal loading coat of concrete and brickwork, as is necessary in the case where external pressure is to be dealt with.
—WATER AND WATER ENGINEERING.