New fire trucks for Surrey will be able to purify water

SURREY — Surrey’s fleet of fire trucks is about to get a whole lot more advanced.

Three new tankers will replace three currently in operation and, in a first for the city, they’ll be equipped with water-purification units.

Currently, the fire department has five water tanker trucks to serve the rural and agricultural areas in Surrey that don’t have fire hydrants.

But now, thanks to the three new trucks, the fire service will have the ability to purify water, which would be particularly useful in the event of a water disruption resulting from a disaster.

Each new water tanker will be capable of filtering 500 imperial gallons per hour, or 12,000 per day.

"We will have the capacity with having all three of these to provide safe drinking water as long as we have a fresh water source to draw it from – like a stream or a pool," said deputy fire chief Dan Barnscher, adding they won’t be able to desalinate salt water.

The fire service found, for an extra $25,000 a pop, they could add the water purifiers. All told, each truck will cost $420,000.

The trucks are expected to be in use beginning in August.

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