SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The Santa Maria Airport just purchased new equipment that allows the fire department to test its fire-fighting foam, while protecting the environment.
The device meets a new FAA regulation regarding foam testing for the airport fire department.
It's called NoFoam System. The device is used to test the concentration of water versus foam.
The Santa Maria Fire Department said that usually for fuel fires, like ones involving aircraft, the concentration should normally be about 3 to 6 percent foam and the rest water.
In the past, testing the concentration meant allowing the foam to run off in the concrete.
The new device means testing the foam will not affect groundwater or small animals.
"We are not putting that foam out on the ground anymore," said Mike Farmer, Battalion Chief for the City of Santa Maria Fire Department. "It's actually running through the system that we purchased, keeps the foam inside the vehicle, and doesn't put the foam out into the environment."
They will use the device to test the foam once a year during their annual FAA inspection. The next scheduled inspection is in March.
The department has been training this week to learn how to use the device.