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Water Usage


NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative provides the latest research underscoring how home fire sprinklers impact water supply.

Fire Flow Consumption in Sprinklered and Unsprinklered Buildings: An Assessment of Community Impacts
NFPA, 2012
Over the past 30 years, selected municipal water authorities have implemented strategies, including standby fees and other policies, to recover costs for water consumed in fires in sprinklered buildings. Typically these fees are not directly related to sprinkler fire flows but rather are recognition of the fact that these flows are not metered and thus not accounted for in conventional water cost recovery mechanisms. In contrast, water consumption at fires at unsprinklered properties is typically not subject to fees nor metered at the hydrant. NFPA commissioned this study to assess the relative community impacts of water consumption in sprinklered and unsprinklered properties. 

Residential Fire Sprinklers – Water Usage and Water Meter Performance Study 
NFPA, 2011
When mandates for sprinkler requirements in one- and two-family dwellings are discussed at a local or state level, a number of issues come up with respect to water supply requirements. Often, these issues are true barriers to residential sprinkler requirements because the water authority is not knowledgeable about residential sprinklers systems and how they are different from commercial fire sprinkler systems. This report describes the results of a study on water usage and water meter performance during residential sprinkler system actuation in residences, designed to provide guidance on this topic.

Integration of Residential Sprinklers with Water Supply Systems  
NFPA, 2009
This research develops objective data which characterizes the manner in which residential fire sprinklers are integrated with local water supply systems in communities with a sprinkler ordinance. The study explores these issues in detail through interviews with 20 communities where residential sprinklers are required in all new homes.