Homeowners in Merrickville-Wolford may be able to apply for a break on their home insurance due to their proximity to a dry hydrant. A dry hydrant is a six-inch pipe that is extended into a sustainable water source that is accessible all year round. “It is far enough underground that it does not freeze,” says Fire Chief, Mark Urquhart. Installing these hydrants throughout the municipality will reduce the turnaround time to get water to a fire scene, improving safety and lessening the risk of operator fatigue during long incidents.
Over the past four years, the Merrickville Fire Department have been installing these hydrants throughout the municipality, at a cost of $4,000 per hydrant. There are currently hydrants at John Street in Merrickville, County Road 16 in Jasper, County Road 41 at County Road 15, and Pioneer Road at the Bridge.
Mark says the plan is to continue to install one hydrant per year, subject to approval in the municipal budget. The next hydrant planned will be on the other side of the locks in Merrickville. Residents who live close to one of the current hydrants are encouraged to contact their insurance company to see if it will afford them a reduction in their insurance premiums.