The Water Pollution Facing Fire Protection Personnel

The California State Fire Marshal Code of Regulations “Title 19” and the National Fire Protection Association Standards (NFPA 25) require that commercial and industrial buildings test their fire sprinkler systems at various intervals - quarterly, yearly, and every five years. In a typical test, fire sprinkler wastewater is discharged from the pipes and flows onto parking lots and finds its way into storm drains and other receiving waters.

As this water resides in steel pipe with its alloys, heavy metals leach into the fire sprinkler water and is discharged into the environment. This polluted wastewater is also released during tenant improvements and repairs to the fire sprinkler system.

Tragically, heavy metals can cause damage even death to plant life, animals and humans, even at very low concentrations (1 or 2 micrograms in some cases).

In September 2011, the California State Fire Marshal’s office in cooperation with the California Water Board Division of Water Quality Storm Water Section, produced the “Water-Based Fire Protection Systems Discharge Best Management Practices Manual” (BMP).


Page 10, paragraph 6 states “Turbid water due to rust and musty stagnation would be subject to BMP for containment and sediment control”.  In paragraph 7, ”dechlorination” the MS4 general National Pollution Discharge Elimination System, (NPDES), permit requires all waters discharged to be de-chlorinated before entering a storm drain. Failure to follow this procedure could result in death of aquatic animals and legal liability.

Finding a feasible and affordable method to deal with heavy metal discharge, sediment and de-chlorination control is what prompted Hydro(Gen) Innovations Inc.,  to developed the first lightweight, portable filtration cart named the “EcoSmart Filter”. With its easy to use concept, without special training required, the EcoSmart Filter is ideal for anyone who wants to be in compliance with Federal and State regulations.