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Control measure

Control measure knowledge

Fire service high volume pumps, fixed installation pumps or pumps secured from a third party supplier can be used to provide water for firefighting. When using this type of equipment or when large volumes of water are being pumped, the appropriate environment agency must be informed. As well as containing run-off, care should be taken not to draw too much water because this can threaten water supplies and damage ecosystems.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Develop procedures that incorporate the use of high volume pumps for incidents that will require large volumes of water to extinguish

  • Liaise with local environment agencies, local authorities' statutory resilience forums to identify and formulate plans for sites that are likely to produce significant smoke plumes/require large amounts of water to extinguish if involved in fire. See National Operational Guidance: Operations. Identify foreseeable risk

  • Have procedures in place for the safe decontamination of high volume pumping equipment after use. See the following sections of the Environmental Protection Handbook:

    • 1.6.6 Protocol for disposing of contaminated water and associated wastes at incidents
    • 2.12.1 High volume pump decontamination

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Seek technical advice - for instance, from a Hazardous Materials Advisor (HMA) or product specialist before deploying a high volume pump

  • Complete an environmental risk assessment before deploying a high volume pump

  • Notify the local environment agency each time a high volume pump is used or where large volumes of water are being pumped
  • Consider the use of local environment agency pumps for incidents that are likely to be significantly protracted
  • Consider the decontamination of high volume pumping equipment after use