By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
SHUEYVILLE– A pair of underground storage tanks in this small Northwest Johnson County community should bring comfort to residents and firefighters alike.
The two tanks will hold 28,000 gallons of water for fire protection in a town without fire hydrants due to the lack of a municipal water system.
A tank holding 10,000 gallons has been placed on the north side of town, while final preparations are being made for an 18,000-gallon tank on the city’s right-of-way by the Shueyville United Methodist Church. Both tanks will be placed below the frost line, negating the need for expensive insulation and permitting year-round storage.
The tanks will be equipped with fittings to allow a fire engine to hook up to them, as it would to a fire hydrant. A typical pumper truck (fire engine) has a tank of 750-1,000 gallons and a pumping capability of 1,000-1,500 gallons per minute. By feeding off the onboard tank and the underground tank, firefighters will be able to initiate their fire attack while giving other firefighters time to set up a water tanker truck shuttle operation. After the fire is out, tankers will continue to shuttle water to refill the tanks.
While the tanks are primarily for the use of the Jefferson-Monroe Townships Fire Department (JMFD), which serves Swisher and Shueyville, other departments in the area will be able to access them through mutual aid agreements.
Mayor Bryan Bredman said the legal paperwork for the second tank was in-progress during a Tuesday, Oct. 9, city council meeting. Gene Beard, representing the JMFD, said getting the tanks installed has been a six-year long project.
Beard had praise for the recently completed 120th Street rebuild, saying the wider pavement has made it easier for people to pull to the right and clear the way for responding emergency vehicles. “It is greatly appreciated,” Beard said.