Treated wastewater will be used to tackle fires in a pioneering joint initiative in Wales.
Mid & West Wales Fire & Rescue Service is working with Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water and Natural Resources Wales to trial the use of ultraviolet (UV) treated wastewater, as an alternative to drinking water and other sources.
The initiative will make available treated wastewater that has been through a UV disinfection plant as a source of water for firefighting purposes, with the fire service filling bowsers at Welsh Water's UV water treatment sites.
"Using ultraviolet treated water will enable crews to respond more efficiently to incidents in areas where water supply is limited."
The trial is being led by the service’s corporate risk assurance manager, Seamus Doyle. He said, “Fire and rescue services use large amounts of water when responding to incidents, with the average modern fire appliance having an 1,800-litre water capacity.
“While water is an essential element of the response work, the large amounts required can occasionally cause issues for some communities in mid and west Wales, such as low water pressure and dirty water.
“Using disinfected ultraviolet treated water at incidents attended by crews will reduce the impact on communities, and align with our environmental objectives. It will also enable crews to respond more efficiently to incidents in areas where water supply is limited, speeding up response times.”
Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water said it fully supported the initiative adding that “substituting this volume of water, which otherwise would have been taken from the potable water supply will help in the preservation of supplies for customers especially in the face of increasing climate change impact on natural resources”.