The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fire cistern floats, seal breaks

At the November 9 Selectmen’s meeting, Fire Chief David Flannery reported on the condition of the fire cistern being installed at the Fire Station. He said, “Norton Corporation installed it three weeks ago. They went away Thursday and on Friday it rained. With a two-inch rain, the tank floated and the seal broke.” He said that there are three options: Fill it and see if the seal holds. Grout the seal. Remove the tank and reinstall.

It will be checked that it is level and will be tested before acceptance by the town. He is advocating reinstallation but is awaiting the installer representative’s recommendation.

Carlisle has 35 fire cisterns

The Fire Department pays electricity meter charges for 20 of the town’s 35 fire cisterns. Homeowner associations pay electricity charges for others. Sizes range from 5,000 gallons to 40,000 gallons. The oldest cistern is 28 years old. There are two “dry hydrants” that are connected by a pipe to a pond and a water hole. Fire Chief David Flannery said, “We need about $3,000 a year for meter charges.” He said that maintenance costs, as the cisterns and pumps age, are exceeding his budget and he asked for guidance from the Selectmen on how to proceed. He suggested that a fund be established for continuing maintenance and said that $25,000 is needed this year for current repairs at Cranberry Hill, Sunset Road and Tanglewood Drive.

Selectman Bill Tice suggested that, for future subdivisions, homeowners associations be made responsible for maintenance. The idea was rejected. Flannery said that, for the benefit of the community that depends on reliable supplies for the Fire Department, it was important for the town to have that responsibility. He said that performance of each cistern is evaluated at least once or twice a year with a detailed checklist.

Flannery will be going to the Finance Committee on Monday with regard to the current expense and will discuss a continuing maintenance fund with the Long-Term Capital Requirements Committee. ∆

© 2010 The Carlisle Mosquito