The Lac La Hache Volunteer Fire Department is the proud owner of a new dry fire hydrant.
The hydrant, located on Lac La Hache five minutes away from the fire hall off Forbes Road, has been on the department’s wishlist for years, and was made possible thanks to a $10,000 donation by Dave Bedford of DWB Consulting.
Deputy fire chief Don Altonen said the new hydrant means the department no longer has to go into town to fill up its fire trucks.
“This is really going to help the residents of Lac La Hache and the fire protection of this whole subdivision. Now we don’t have to travel into the town of Lac La Hache to use the fire hydrant, we can just source our water here which is going to be huge for fighting any fires,” Altonen said.
Construction of the hydrant took place last winter and this summer, Altonen said. It involved sinking pipe four feet below ground and running a pipe 100 feet out into the lake. At the pipe’s end, Altonen said a strainer is installed to filter the water as the pump sucks it from the lake.
“It gives us access to water 365 days of the year,” Altonen said. “We’ve tried it twice, once with our portable pumps, which worked very well, and with our main engine and it produced an amazing amount of water.”
The pump will be fully useable after the department conducts a flow test and ensures the pump can produce 835 gallons of water per minute. Altonen said it’s only an estimate but he’s sure the pump is already capable of 1,000 gallons a minute.
The department received support from the South Green Lake Volunteer Fire Department, which has several dry hydrants and aided them with the permits and construction. Bedford, a resident of Lac La Hache since 1971, said he donated the funds to help make the community better and wasn’t seeking recognition.
“I just gave money, I got the easy part. I was at one of the department’s meetings when they made the presentation and said we need this kind of hydrant to enhance their ability to fight fires,” Bedford said. “We finance a lot of projects, not just here but all around the world, so when they presented it to me I thought why not.”
Altonen and Fire Chief Terry Murphy hope to install two more dry hydrants on either end of the lake and plan to scout out possible locations this spring. Bedford said he’s willing to contribute the funds.
“We’re just thrilled. We’re just amazed this is the first one and how well it works,” Altonen said. “We’re going to move forward.”