CENTRAL COMMUNITY, AR (KAIT) - In most cases fire fighters in rural areas must carry their water with them in pumpers and tank trucks. Often during a large blaze they must be periodically refilled.
A lot of stations have their own hydrants for filling. But residents around the Central Community Fire Department say there's too much water being used and not just for fighting fires.
Should there be a limit to how much water a rural fire department can use at the station? That's the question they are asking here in the Central community.
The firehouse and the houses surrounding the building are serviced by a 4 inch water line. Chall Hill lives across from the station. He says a 4 inch water main is not big enough.
"Since they put that line in they built oodles and oodles of houses. And it ain't big enough to take care of them."
The hydrant was put in when the station was built.
Crowley's Ridge Water Association Manager Donna Sefers told me the hydrant was put in for a specific purpose.
"For them to use to fill their trucks up. And refilling them after a fire."
This dry year has seen a huge demand on the already overtaxed water system.With such a small main line, using a huge volume of water at the station cuts pressure way down in the surrounding area
Hill, "Oh you got a stream about like your little finger. Bout what pressure you have. It'll barely run out. It don't last long. It hasn't really bothered us all that much here. You notice it but we live through it."
There have been numerous complaints from other water system users.
Sefers, "A lot of the complaints they get are on Monday nights. Which just happens to be the same night the Fire Department has their training sessions."
Sefers says complaints run from washing off the driveway to wetting the grass and even washing private vehicles.
There is a meter at the station for water used in the building and the outside faucet but the hydrant is not metered.
Taking out the hydrant is really not an option but the Water Association is considering several suggestions for the department. One is the installation of a tank that would fill at off hours for use in refilling trucks.
Sefers, "Another one that has been suggested is that they put down their own water well. Strictly for use on the hydrant."
Sefers says this has been a tough year to keep all the customers happy and she is hoping that the Water Department and the Fire Department can come to an arrangement.