VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. (KABC) -- The Ventura County Fire Department is using a new technology called pump pods. It is a water recirculating machine that allows firefighters to conserve the water they use during training exercises.
"We had people that were unhappy that they saw a lot of water being dumped on the ground when we were out training," said Chad Cook the deputy fire chief for the Ventura County Fire Department. "So we were trying to come up with a different way to continue to train recapture the water we were using."
The pump pod holds water for the fire truck's pumping engine to use for training, and then that water is sprayed back into the pod to be recirculated, eliminating the use of free flowing hydrant water.
The Metropolitan Water District says the device is a game-changer for water conservation.
"We learned about the device and how much water it saves we actually asked the pump pods to put the meter on the device," said Gary Tilkian a senior resource specialist with the Metropolitan Water District. "So that we could actually see the measured water savings."
MWD says the pump pods save around 4 million gallons of water a year, or about the same amount of water usage for 13 homes in a year.
"This is something I think everyone should be using as a water agency," said Tammi Myers a conservation coordinator. "I feel it's our responsibility to be able to look at these types of opportunities and partner with the fire departments."
Ventura County is the first fire department in Southern California to use the innovative technology for training.
"If you really stopped to think about it, the firefighters today are immediately engaged in wildfires and we see it all over our communities. We see actually more and more structure fires. We see more fires throughout all of our agencies right now," said Chief Cook. "That training is pivotal that they remain proficient with their skills. These are just one more tool that allows us to do it."
The Ventura County Fire Department currently has three pump pods in use for training with plans to expand to more.