Dry hydrants on-line in Casco; Naples gets grant for three more

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

CASCO — It might seem like in an area referred to as the Lake Region, local fire departments would have no problem finding water. But, having water that is accessible is what counts when firefighters are trying to protect someone’s home or business from a fast-moving fire.

One widely used method for firefighting is the dry hydrant.

“A dry hydrant is a nonpressurized pipe installed at a pond or lake that is in close proximity to an all-weather road. Dry hydrants provide firefighters with a way to replenish their water supplies,” according to the website of the Miller Grove Volunteer Fire Department. “A fire crew can refill its tanker truck from a dry hydrant which is located near the fire area,” the site said.

Casco Assistant Chief Holly Hancock said, “We are dependent on our dry hydrants for our rural water supply.”

The dry hydrant connected to a water source on Leach Hill Road helped extinguish a structure fire on Tenney Hill Road in mid-January, Hancock said.

Like most things, dry hydrants need to be maintained.

In Casco, money was approved in the municipal budget to bring several dry hydrants back on line.

According to Hancock, the department is midway through its project to repair the existing dry hydrants that were not functioning properly. The remainder will be repaired this spring.

Two of the town’s hydrants were back-flushed so that sitting debris is removed. Those are located on Point Sebago Road and Hawthorne Road, near the South Casco-Raymond boundary.

“We rely on dry hydrants spaced around town” in order to fight fires effectively, Hancock said.

Meanwhile, the Town of Naples just received a grant to install three new dry hydrants.

The $1,500 grant was supplied by the Maine Forest Service. The grant will cover the cost of materials for three new dry hydrants, according to Naples Town Manager Ephrem Paraschak.

Two of the areas that dry hydrants will be installed are in the vicinity of the Sebago State Park. One will be near the Songo River Lock and another will be off Thompson Point Road. The third dry hydrant will be located by the Crooked River Bridge on River Road. In Naples, River Road spans from Jug Town to Harrison.

“Although, we have hydrants on the Causeway, Naples is very rural town as far as having hydrants,” Paraschak said.

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