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Osakis Fire Department completes dry fire hydrant project

Contributed photo The final steps were completed on a dry fire hydrant project at Battle Point of Lake Osakis. Pictured are (left to right): Randy Neumann, WesMin Council member and Todd County c#ommissioner; Matt Calvert, Osakis Eagle Scout; Tom Williamson, WesMin Council member and Todd Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor; and Chief Mark Pomerleau, Osakis Fire Department.

As the final step in completion of a dry hydrant on Lake Osakis, a sign was installed last week to inform the public about the project and the partners that were involved.

Matt Calvert of Osakis earned his Eagle Scout award for his involvement in this project. Calvert coordinated the project and lined up donated materials, volunteers, and also worked closely with the Osakis Fire Department to find the most suitable site for the hydrant.

Dry fire hydrants are six-inch PVC pipes that are placed into lakes or rivers into deep water, this one right by the public access on Battle Point, below ice depth so that water can be quickly pumped year round by fire trucks in the area. Many rural areas do not have pressurized water and should a fire threaten homes or property, fire departments have to haul water from a long distance away.

With a dry hydrant, fire departments can quickly hook up to the hydrant and immediately draw water for fire fighting. They are an economical means of providing water for fire protection in rural areas far from towns with pressurized water hydrants.

The Osakis Fire Department used the dry hydrant during a June training session on the Tom and Karen Williamson farm.

Fire Chief Mark Pomerleau appreciated the new hydrant.

"You can really pump water quickly from this dry hydrant and it will save valuable time opposed to having our trucks go back to town to reload water," he said.

The WesMin Resource Conservation and Development Council (RC&D) worked with the Osakis Fire Department to finalize the hydrant location. The RC&D provided a cost share through a DNR Firewise grant to offset the costs of the project. A total of 14 dry fire hydrants were completed in the last few years under this program in WesMin's 14-county area.