Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 16:26
Large fires a possible result as water capacity cut
With reporting by Zack Newmark. The water mains across large portions of the Netherlands do not distribute enough water to extinguish large fires, RTL Nieuws reported on Monday. Among other buildings, hospitals and schools are at high risk of fire because of the issue, former fire brigade commander Ynso Suurenbroek said, although the Fire Department was quick to denounce the assertion. While Suurenbroek points to the decreasing diameter of water main piping as a the key problem, the Fire Department points out that there are plenty of other water supplies in the Netherlands that often provide water in firefighting efforts. Instead of tapping into the drinking water supply, crews can also draw water from canals, ponds and ditches. These sources give a near unlimited supply of water, RTL pointed out. Suurenbroek aid that the extinguishing capacity of the water supply is sometimes only ten percent of what crews need to successfully manage large fire outbursts, and says often buildings are left to burn down when fires get out of control. "One can not speak of a nationwide shortage in fire water capacity," a Fire Department spokesman told the broadcaster, but without commenting on specific examples. Narrower pipes allow waster to flow faster through the system, increasing water safety by making it harder for e.coli, legionella and other bacteria to colonize.