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Tanker Operations #16 - Vacuum Tanker Loading Station Using a Dump Tank
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By President Mark Davis
September 27, 2018

As we have noted before, one of the advantages of a vacuum tanker is its ability to self-load and meet or exceed the NFPA 1901 minimum fill rate requirements while doing so. At our August 2018 rural water supply drill in Windfall, Indiana, one of the seven tankers hauling water was a 3,000 gallon vacuum tanker from the Bass Lake FD. Because the water source was several hundred feet from where tankers were being loaded, a 3,000-gallon dump tank was used in an open relay arrangement to provide water for when the Bass Lake tanker arrived at the fill site. The dump tank was kept full by a pumper from Duck Creek FD and when needed, the vacuum tanker would arrive and load directly from the dump tank. When full, the vacuum tanker would depart for the dump site and leave its floating strainer and suction hose back at the fill site ready for next time. Using this arrangement, the vacuum tanker was able to self-load without much issue...as long as the source pumper could keep the dump tank full.


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