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Case Study

New Winery Installs Dual-Use Fire-Protection and Potable-Water Tanks

The owners of Phantom Creek Estates set out to create a new state-of-the-art winery in British Columbia’s vineyards. They wanted a winery that could compete with the best – not only in the wine it produced, but in every aspect of design and operation.

In the rural Okanagan Valley, they’re far from municipal water and must source their own supply – including for fire protection.

Initially, engineers planned to install a concrete fire-protection tank inside the winery. However, the designers and engineers determined they couldn’t store the required quantity inside. Craig Dusel, a senior engineer with McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd., had worked with our fiberglass tanks several times before so he knew our fiberglass tanks would fit the requirements for an underground installation.

Treated groundwater becomes dual-use water

When it opens in the spring of 2019, the winery’s entire fire-protection supply will be stored in three Xerxes by Shawcor water tanks.

A separate water system inside the winery will treat groundwater. A portion of that treated water will be stored in our tanks as the fire-protection supply. With an eye toward water conservation, the winery will also use the water as potable water. Because of this dual-use, each tank needed to have an NSF 61 label.

“Fire-protection is the biggest part of the need,” says Craig, “but the smallest part of the use. We hope we never have to use the water for a fire. The potable water will be used in the winery’s restaurants.”

Maintaining the fire-protection supply requires custom accessories beyond the usual manways, sumps and fittings.

The installer, Andy Zeeman (superintendent with H&M Excavating Ltd), explains: “Floats and alarms are installed in each tank to signal if the water level drops below the required fire-protection volumes.”

An expert team responds to an evolving design

“The winery hadn’t worked with fiberglass tanks before, so there were a lot of design changes on our end,” says Craig. “Your team worked with us as we were figuring things out. They’re excellent. They’re technically proficient, so they know what they’re doing.”

Smooth installation with ongoing support

“The tanks come clean and sealed as finished single-piece products, so it was a quick, smooth installation,” explains Andy. “And when we had questions, we knew we could depend on ongoing support after delivery of the tanks. Your team was quick to respond to any questions we had.”