Google donates water storage tanks to help rural firefighters

Staff Report
Published Feb. 13, 2013

Google, which operates a data center in Berkeley County, is donating 29 used water storage tanks to help increase access to water supplied in rural communities.

Fourteen of the 20,000-gallon tanks will go to Charleston County’s Awendaw District Fire Department, the company said in a news release. Awendaw firefighters are often far from other sources of water. Each tank measures more than 11 feet tall and 35 feet long and weighs 15,000 pounds and cost $70,000 when new.

Allstate Crane Rental Inc. will take the other 15 used tanks and make them available to community organizations.

“Google is constantly improving its data centers, and it is time for these tanks to be replaced at the Moncks Corner center,” said Eric Wages, operations manager of the Berkeley County data center. “Google is committed to protecting the environment, so finding another use for these tanks is ideal. It’s even better that they will provide fire protection to our neighbors.”

The Awendaw Fire District borders the Francis Marion National Forest. Forest fires are part of the natural system in Southern pine forests like Francis Marion. Firefighters in rural areas already use prescribed burns as a way to lower the risk of a wildfire.

“Wildfires and other fires demand an immediate response, and these water tanks will help firefighters react quickly in areas that typically do not have a nearby water source,” said Awendaw Fire District Chief Tommy Norris. “Placing the donated water tanks strategically around our rural fire district will ensure firefighters have the water available to put out any fire as fast as possible.”

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