South Australian Country Fire Service Promotions Unit

Raising awareness of the roles, training and activities of CFS Volunteers state-wide


Floating Pump

Pumping water from dams

A floating pump A floating pump in operation

Many areas that CFS responds to has no mains or reticulated water, and a means of getting water from alternate sources is required.

All appliances have equipment which enables them to draught water from a fixed source, such as a dam or watercourse, but access is not always good. Often time is spent trying to get a fire appliance close enough to the water source to enable the appliance to draught water from that source.

An alternative to setting up an appliance, or trailer pump at a water source is a floating pump, which consists of a pump and motor, sitting on top of a floatation device. This enables the inlet of the pump to remain submerged, and the outlet to be connected to a hose. This in turn can be used to fill an appliance, or run a branch if needed.

Brigades along the River Murray have used these pumps to good effect, and many other brigades are now using them to gain water from previously inaccessible areas. Some of these may include swimming pools in backyards, and dams and creeks inaccessible to vehicles.

The pump can be carried down to the water by two people and once started, placed onto the surface to start pumping. The floating pump works well in shallow water as the inlet is very close to the surface.

Photographs on this page taken by Ashley Hosking, CFS Promotions Unit