Some leaders in the town of Summerfield have for years expressed concerns about the lack of availability of water for firefighters in the town.
This week, Summerfield Mayor BJ Barnes said that there is agreement to beef up the town’s fire response capabilities by building four mass water storage sites and distribution points at strategic locations around town.
Barnes, who used to be the sheriff of Guilford County, said this will offer a much greater degree of safety for the residents of the small town than the current method does.
Summerfield doesn’t have a water system. Residents and businesses rely on well water.
The mayor said that Summerfield has over $1 million in state money that can be used for the project. He added that this is a pressing need since creeks and ponds that firefighters pull water from aren’t reliable. He said the size of some of those bodies of water has been diminishing over the years and he added that it’s more labor intensive for crews to pull water from a pond.
Under the new system, the stored water will be much easier to extract.
“One person can hook it up,” Barnes said. “From a pond, it takes twice the manpower.”
That allows for more firefighters to remain on the scene fighting fires.
The tanks are expected to contain between 35,000 and 50,000 gallons of water each.
Barnes said that, currently, there are parts of town that lack nearby sources of water for fire protection, but, the mayor added, under this new system, readily available water for that purpose will be accessible and relatively close to all points in Summerfield.
The idea does have some critics. Some residents see any move toward any type of water system as a Trojan Horse meant to bring in more development to the town.