Scottish Water helps extinguish ‘major’ fire with continuous supply of waste water

SCOTTISH Water has helped extinguish a major fire in Cupar using an innovative tool which supplied firefighters with an unlimited source of waste water to tackle the blaze.

Nine crews in total were tackling the fire at a waste transfer station situated 200 metres from Scottish Water’s Cupar Waste Water Treatment Works. The firm told the crews that they could hook their fire hoses to the outlet pipes at the works.

As a result, waste water was used to tackle the fire before flowing back into a nearby Scottish Water pumping station, and finally into the waste water treatment to be reused in the efforts to tackle the blaze.

Innes Petrie, Scottish Water’s sewer response team leader, said, “This really did give new meaning to circular innovation – in my 33 years in the water industry I have never heard of waste water which has been through the full treatment process being used to fight a fire and then to return to same works and used again the same way. It meant the same water was being used over and over again.

“Fire crews obviously look for water quickly from the nearest sources when looking to put out fires. When they turned up at our site we did a bit of ‘outside the box thinking’ to assist and were delighted to be able to help out.”

Site operator at the works, Dougie Hain, also made sure his innovative fire solution did not have any negative impact to the works and that they remained operating as they should.

Mr Petrie continued, “This really was all down to Dougie’s fantastic bit of quick thinking. When the fire crews said they needed more water than was available at the hydrants he came up with this circular solution which worked great, keeping the River Eden environment safe and recycling water on site as well.”

Scottish Fire and Rescue Area Commander Kenny Rogers, who was the incident commander at the fire, described Scottish Water staff’s quick thinking as “truly innovative”.

He said, “We always look to work closely with our partners to bring an incident to a swift and safe conclusion, and this can result in some truly innovative and unique solutions to problems on the incident ground.

“This is a great example of this close partnership working and quick thinking, resulting in an unusual solution that helped us extinguish this challenging fire.

“My thanks must go to Scottish Water and all of our partners for their support throughout this incident and to our crews for their diligent efforts.”