For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Gil Dong, Deputy Fire Chief, (510) 981-5501

Pump system can take water from the Bay up to the hills

Berkeley, California (Friday, October 15, 2010) - Berkeley residents now have extra protection from fire with the introduction of an above-ground water system that can pump water from San Francisco Bay up to Berkeley’s steep hillsides. This is the first use of this system to protect an entire city in the United States.

Please join us for a demonstration of the first United States delivery of a Hytrans Fire System mobile pump and hose deployment system.

WHO: Welcome and Overview from the Fire Chief, Debra Pryor
          Comments from the City Manager, Phil Kamlarz
WHAT: A live demonstration of the system and display of the components
WHEN: Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 10:00 a.m.
WHERE: H’s Lordships Parking Lot at the Berkeley Marina

“This technology is ideal for the topography of Berkeley, and also provides a back-up water supply to support firefighting efforts during a disaster,” said Fire Chief Debra Pryor. “These systems were used successfully to fight the largest peacetime fire in Europe in 2005, and are routinely used in severe fire and flooding situations around the globe. The City of Berkeley is leading the way in the United States by taking advantage of this world class technology.”

The morning’s activities will include submerging the hydraulically driven seawater feed pumps, deploying 12” supply hose, operation of the 1,200 HP pump units and hose recovery systems. Information will be available on deploying these systems in flood and firefighting emergencies.

The $4.7 million system is designed to deliver San Francisco Bay seawater at high pressure to the industrial and commercial areas of the city, which includes most of the residential buildings, and to steep hillsides miles from the shoreline in the event of a fire hydrant water system failure. The system was paid for through Measure Q, a bond measure passed by Berkeley voters.

Subject matter experts from Europe and the U.S. will be on hand to answer questions about the technology and its operation. Public officials and emergency response planners and interested community members will also be in attendance.