Water Source (Dugout) Database - Fire Ponds

The County of Grande Prairie Regional Fire Service is asking the public to assist with fire suppression by providing access to dedicated water sources (dugouts) throughout the County.

Having access to dugout water may be required at any time or day of the year to support fire operations throughout the region. Because every minute counts when fighting a fire, the ability to quickly access alternative nearby water sources will greatly enhance firefighting efforts throughout the County. Response times will be improved, significantly reducing the chance of the fire spreading to nearby properties.

Our goal is to have these dedicated water sources pre-determined and mapped across the region to improve Regional Fire Service's turnaround time when refilling water tenders.

Over time, and with the correct number of dedicated water sources in place, rate payers may see lower residential fire insurance rates.

What is required to qualify:

  1. The dugout must be accessible year-round.
  2. The dugout must be located on or near a paved or maintained roadway.
  3. The County must have the ability to modify the dugout by adding a stand pipe.
  4. The resident or dugout owner must be willing to sign a release.

If you have a water source that meets the criteria and would like to be included in this database, please contact the Regional Fire Service at 780-532-9727.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a water tender?

A water tender is a “tank truck” that is typically a single or tandem axel truck with a water tank ranging in size from 1,800 gallons to 3,000 gallons.

What is a stand pipe?

A stand pipe is a piping system installed in a dugout that allows the fire department to connect to it and draft (suck) water out of the dugout. These systems are specifically designed so they will not freeze and are built with screens in place to stop debris from being drawn into the water tank.

Will helicopters use my dugout?

Possibly. During a large fire event, the County of Grande Prairie Regional Fire Service may utilize any water source necessary to mitigate the incident; this applies to any contractors or external agencies that may be operating with us.

Who else will have access?

Only the County of Grande Prairie Regional Fire Service and our contract partners will have initial access. If other agencies are requested to assist with fire suppression, they will be authorized as well.

If the County installs a stand pipe, what work will be required and who will cover the cost of that work?

Fire pond stand pipes are specifically designed for use in dugouts. Some work will be required to the bank during installation. This will be done by a professional excavator service and paid for by the County of Grande Prairie. Once installed, the County will maintain the access point to ensure fire trucks do not get stuck. (We do ask that in a heavy snowfall, if possible, property owners plow access to the fire pond).

Is there a difference between a fire pond and a dugout?

A fire pond is a dugout that has been modified and dedicated for use by the County of Grande Prairie Regional Fire Service.

Is there anything else I can do to help?

Yes. Once a dugout has been dedicated for use by the County of Grande Prairie Regional Fire Service, accessibility is a priority. In the event of a heavy snowfall, we would ask property owners to plow the access points to fire ponds if possible.