The third required element addressed in a Bushfire Management Plan (BMP) is water, which is described in the bushfire protection criteria in the guidelines to planning in bushfire prone region. The intent of this element in the Bushfire Management Plan (BMP) is to ensure is to ensure that the property has access to an adequate water supply and ensure that the water infrastructure to support firefighting is up to standard. When compiling a firefighting strategy in a Bushfire Management Plan (BMP), it is important to know what the minimum requirements of a development are in terms of water supply, and whose concern it is to source and maintain it.
If a site has a reticulated water supply i.e. scheme water provided by the local water authority, then the landowner of the development or the proponent in the case of a Bushfire Management Plan (BMP) is not liable for the supply of water for firefighting nor the hydrants, it is the responsibility of DFES or the local volunteer brigade. If the site is located in a rural area or is part of a large subdivision, and there is no reticulated water supply, then a shared water tank managed by the local government, within 2 km of the site, is sufficient for firefighting. The requirements for such a tank are as follows:
1. Minimum volume of 50,000 litres. 2. Minimum one tank per 25 lots. 3. Must be within 2 km and must allow the fire appliance for a 20 minute turnaround time from the tank to the site. 4. Should have a hardstand and turnaround areas suitable for a type 3.4 fire appliance.
For non-reticulated areas and lots greater than 500 square meters, if the water tank is out of the 2 km range, then the proponent of the Bushfire Management Plan (BMP) becomes responsible of the water supply. They are to provide a water tank with a maintained effective capacity of 10,000 litres. This means that regardless of the tank capacity 10,000 litres must always be in the tank dedicated for firefighting in case of a bushfire. This can be achieved by placing the water supply outlet for firefighting at the base of the tank while the water supply for domestic use must be placed above the 10,000 litres mark. The landowner is also to undertake the task of replenishing of the water supply and the cost of maintenance of the water tank.
There are standards to be met for the type of fittings and the water infrastructure to be used but these can vary from different local government authorities. If you would like to know more about these requirements or what water system would work best for your development, you can contact us at Green Start Consulting, your local BPAD Accredited Level 2 Assessor, to draft a Bushfire Management Plan (BMP).
Due to constantly evolving legislation the information provided within this blog may no longer be valid. The advice given on this site is general in nature and does not take into account your specific circumstances. Please email one of our building surveyors to check what is right for you