Secondary Water Supply for Sprinkler System

Our old Chevy plant prop shaft bldg. is over half million sq.ft.  GM sold it & it is currently being used as a storage & distribution facility.  It is fully sprinklered & had a secondary water source from the existing GM Stamping plant which is directly next door.  This secondary water source was discontinued when GM sold the property to the distributors.  Do they still need a secondary water source?  It does not have an FDC because the water source was from the water tower at the GM plant.


Rich Ciarrone
Parma Fire Dept.
[email protected]

1 thought on “Secondary Water Supply for Sprinkler System”

  1. I don’t believe it would be required unless the primary supply can’t meet the required demand for the highest demand system. OFC (2) 507.2 Type of water supply. A water supply shall consist of reservoirs, pressure tanks, elevated tanks, water mains or other fixed systems capable of providing the required fire flow. The secondary supply could have been a GM requirement not a code requirement.

    You might want to check with your building department and see if there was a change of occupancy for the building (manufacturing to storage). If the occupancy changed, I believe they have to go through the building code official to get approval. OFC (4) 901.4 Installation. Fire protection systems shall be maintained in accordance with the original installation standards for that system. Required fire protection systems shall be extended, altered or augmented as necessary to maintain and continue protection whenever the building is altered, remodeled or added to. Alterations to fire protection systems shall be done in accordance with the building code as listed in rule1301:7-7-47 of the Administrative Code and applicable standards. So long as the building code did not require the secondary supply they would not need to maintain it but someone would need to sign-off giving approval for the removal.

    I believe they would at the lease still need to provide an FDC at the pump house. (1) 912.1 Installation. Fire department connections shall be installed in accordance with the NFPA standard applicable to the system design and shall comply with paragraphs (L)(2)(912.2) to (L)(6)(912.6) of this rule. Exceptions: Fire department connections are not required for: 1. Limited area sprinkler systems supplied from the domestic water system. 2. Automatic sprinkler systems having less than twenty sprinklers.

    I was the Fire Chief for the GM plant in Toledo and GM always went above the requirements because of insurance.GM liked to consider itself a highly protected risk hence the higher standards. You should also look at what they are storing, specifically the packing material, pile size and isle spacing as it relates to the sprinkler density in the area. As for the FDC, we had FDC’s on both of our pump houses but not on individual systems.

    Dean Miller
    Fire Safety Inspector
    Risingsun Fire Department

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