Farmhouses and cottages by definition are often sited in remote rural locations and the nearest water main is often miles, rather than metres, from the farmstead.
A private water supply from the mains is usually adequate to serve the needs of day-to-day water supply for domestic and business use, however recent risk assessments, undertaken to assess resources, often find a completely inadequate provision for useful quantities of water that would be sufficient to fight a fire.
Basic knowledge is sometimes lacking, such as the location of the nearest hydrant, where mains water is available nearby.
The suitability of hydrants, rivers and other sources of water need to have regard to the advice from the County Fire Service, which generally provides for a maximum distance of 100 metres (approximately equivalent to 4 lengths of hose) from the water supply in order for the fire tenders to make effective use in the event that they are required to fight a fire. The fire tender itself holds only up to 1,000 gallons of water, enough to put out a rubbish bin perhaps.
A suitably located lake, even of modest size, can often provide a suitable tax efficient solution; however there are bespoke water storage vessels that can be considered if the distance from water supply is further that the fire service recommend. For above ground water tanks, a capacity of 15,838 gallons of water is required, which equates to 2 firefighting jets for 1 hour.
The County Fire Service will give specific advice for a newly built farmstead, but will offer guidance only for existing buildings.