Fire water systems consist of an underground ring or header that supplies above ground sprinkler systems, fire water monitors and fire hydrants with fire water. The analysis of buried piping and especially buried fiberglass piping must be done with great care. There exist many different soil models to describe the action of the soil on the pipe. Unfortunately these do not always agree. DRG has helped design incident free fire water lines with years of experience in analyzing buried piping coupled with soil model sensitivity studies.
When inactive, fire water systems often contain dry sections of aboveground piping. Such systems are called deluge systems. Deluge systems require specific attention as they are initially dry. Hydraulic engineers tend to focus on the steady-state hydraulic calculations for sizing all components of a fire water system. At DRG we have seen many failures of deluge systems during start-up of the system. The transient events that occur during start-up are more difficult to predict and to model. DRG has helped many clients in identifying and quantifying possible problems that a fire water system design may have. All too often this is being done after a failure has occurred. Performing such analysis will help save time, money and will provide higher reliability of fire water systems.