Posted on

Changes in NFPA 22 – California Fire Suppression Water Tank Requirements

NFPA

With the drought continuing at historic levels throughout the Western United States fire is becoming an increasing danger. In particular rural communities and structures are at risk. On April 25th, 2014 California Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order increasing the state’s ability to manage water and habitat.

“The driest months are still to come in California and extreme drought conditions will get worse,” said Governor Brown. “This order cuts red tape to help get water to farmers more quickly, ensure communities have safe drinking water, protect vulnerable species, and prepare for an extreme fire season. I call on every city, every community, every Californian to conserve water in every way possible.” Read more…

drought
California Drought Map as of Sept. 30, 2014

Concerns about fire are very real, and National Storage Tank wanted to take a moment and let you know about some changes to NFPA 22, the regulations regarding standard requirements for the design, construction, installation, and maintenance of tanks and accessory equipment that supply water for private fire protection.

Section 12.2: Concrete Ring Wall minimum at the foundation

Gravel rings are no longer permitted in California to support water tanks used for fire suppression. This means a concrete ring or slab must now be used for the construction of any new water tank used for fire suppression.

Section 5.5.1.1: Welded Steel Tanks: 1/4  floor with 3/16  shell and roof for either on-site built or shop built tanks.

The requirements have now changed so that any surface that has direct contact with the water held inside the tank (walls & floor) must be at least a thickness of 3/16ths or greater. The tank roof now has a requirement of at least ¼ or great thickness.

Section 4.2.1: the adequacy, dependability, and reliability of the water source must be determined prior to the specifications and installation of the tank.

Now any and all sources that will be feeding the tank and maintaining the water levels must be deemed adequate and dependable by our local fire marshal in order for approval of said tank. Be it a well, or municipal water source there must be proof that that source can handle the demands of water usage.

Section 4.3: Tank must be located to protect from fire exposure.

Any tank must be a minimum of 20 feet away from any defendable structure. This allows for access during a fire by firefighters and equipment. Unfettered access to the tank is mandatory.

Plastic-Poly Tanks

Plastic-Poly tanks are permissible for private residences at the 5000-gallon level. Plastic-Poly Tanks are no longer allowed for any commercial fire suppression applications.

Information on NFPA 22 can be found here: More information here

The State of California maintains an excellent web site full of resources and information pertaining to fire prevention: More information here

National Storage Tank prides itself on staying current on all the latest requirements within the State of California pertaining to Fire Suppression Tanks. We believe it is our responsibility to our customers to provide them with this information and take all factors into account prior to the specification and installation of the tanks we provide.

If you are considering obtaining a new water tank for fire suppression please consult with one of the representatives and we will ensure the tank you receive is within the parameters of the new regulations and the right tank for your needs.