Fight fire with your own water

Jacinta CantatoreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Water Corporation South West regional manager John Janssen inspects a hydrant with Harvey Fire and Rescue Service training officer Ryan Wyburg.
Camera IconWater Corporation South West regional manager John Janssen inspects a hydrant with Harvey Fire and Rescue Service training officer Ryan Wyburg. Credit: Jacinta Cantatore/Jacinta Cantatore

Residents across the South West are being urged not to rely on scheme water supplies during a bushfire if they plan to stay and defend their home.

Water Corporation South West regional manager John Janssen said residents planning on defending their home must ensure they have an independent water supply and pumping capability in the event of a total loss of power.

“I can’t stress how important this message is for people to understand,” Mr Janssen said.

“If you decide to stay and defend on the assumption you will have water — the consequence could be your life.”

Mr Janssen said while the Corporation readied its equipment and systems in the lead-up to the bushfire season, it is likely there will be a reduction in water pressure, and scheme water supply tanks may run empty in the event of fire.

“While we do all we can to maintain scheme water during a bushfire, damaged infrastructure or a cut to power can result in the loss of public water supplies.

“For those who choose to stay and defend their homes, you must have an independent water supply and pumping capability.”

The warning comes as the Water Corporation nears the final stages of a $12.5 million program to install an additional 2900 fire hydrants across the State.

“After this stage is completed, a total of 2670 new fire hydrants would have been installed, completing 92 per cent of the program to date,” Mr Janssen said.

For more information about preparing a bushfire survival plan and what you will need to actively defend your home, visit the Department of Fire and Emergency Services website: emergency.wa.gov.au/prepare.

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