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Case Study

Fire protection tanks in the Appalachian Mountains

Ashton Woods is an idyllic housing development in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia. The remote nature of the area attracts recreational homeowners. However, that valued isolation is the very thing that makes it vulnerable in the event of a fire. All the home owners in this community share the same downside: they’re about 30 minutes away from the nearest source of fire-protection water.

Thanks to the knowledge and expertise of two property owners who are professional fire fighters, Ashton Woods found a solution in the form of fire-protection water stored in Xerxes by Shawcor fiberglass tanks.

The fiberglass advantage

“The fact that the tanks are lightweight is a significant benefit,” says Rob Mourlas of Tanks Direct, the Maryland-based distributor that provided our tanks to the property owners association. “The tanks needed to be easy to ship and handle in this mountainous region.”

In addition, the corrosion-resistance of fiberglass makes these tanks a wise, long-term investment for Ashton Woods.

Why they chose Xerxes by Shawcor

“The fact that we had a manufacturing facility just a couple of hours away was also very helpful,” Rob explains. This meant lower shipping costs and quick access to the tanks.

We offer a wide range of accessories, so when the challenge of a potentially high water table or trapped water was posed, we were ready to provide an appropriate anchoring system.

Homeowner Dick Smull, who headed the tank project, was impressed with the Xerxes support throughout. That ranged from the process of acquiring the tank to the installation training for their local contractor.

Peace of mind

Five fiberglass fire protection tanks are now installed in strategic positions throughout the development.

“You don’t need this water until you need it,” says Dick, “And then it matters that it’s close enough to save houses and property.”

With our tanks, Ashton Woods property owners have peace of mind: if there is a home or forest fire anywhere in their development, they have done what they can to protect themselves and their property.

Installation details

  • – Four 15,000-gallon/56,800-liter and one 12,000-gallon/45,400-liter fiberglass fire-protection tanks
  • – Lightweight tanks easy to ship and install in a remote location
  • – Strategically placed in a remote mountainous recreational development