The success of a fire suppression operations hinge on having a readily available water source. In most rural areas of the state there is not a pressurized fire hydrant system. In many cases this requires water to be shuttled by tanker from the closest available source usually from a town pressurized system and it can be difficult for firefighters to maintain an uninterrupted water source at the scene.
A dry fire hydrant is a non-pressurized pipe system permanently installed in a water source such as lakes, streams or ponds that permits the withdrawal of water by drafting from a fire truck to provide a reliable water source for fire suppression close to the incident.
Below is a diagram of a typical dry hydrant installation:
Maryland Dry Hydrants Publication
As part of a federal State Fire Assistance hazard mitigation grant, the Maryland Forest Service provided grant funding to Volunteer Fire Departments from 2003 – 2007 for the installation of dry fire hydrants. This program installed 114 new dry hydrants across the state increasing the availability of rural water supplies. During the same period, locations were taken for known existing dry hydrants. The publication “Maryland Dry Hydrants” provides a listing of 419 known dry hydrant sites on a county by county basis.
More information can be found on dry hydrants in the publication Planning For Water Supply And Distribution In The Wildland Urban Interface at: http://interactive.firewise.org/operationWater/step3.htm