The Kensington Fire Protection District Water System Improvements Master Plan was adopted by the KFPD Board of Directors in December 1999. The Master Plan was created to improve the community's ability to withstand an assault by fire and is based on fire flow criteria provided by fire fighting staff, the California Fire Code for hydrant spacing, community standards for vegetation management, community concerns regarding historical brush fires, and on the staff's greatest area of concern for a potential major conflagration - the wildland interface between Kensington and East Bay Regional Park District land. In 2007 the Board commissioned a Supplemental Fire Flow Study for Phase V (the northern interface area) to identify a project that would be agreeable to the neighbors.
As of fall 2014, 7,180 feet of pipeline improvements will be installed. Phase I (Beloit Avenue, Los Altos Drive, and Kenyon Avenue area), Phase II (Lake Drive), Phase III (Beloit Avenue), Phase IV (Purdue Avenue) and Phase V (Lawson Road, the UUCB property and Craft Avenue) are all complete along with the replacement of a pressure regulator valve. Phase VI (Arlington Avenue between Westminster/Sunset and Westminster) was completed in 2013. As of 2015, improvements to Columbia Avenue are currently under design. Thirty-three hydrants have been installed throughout the Kensington community. All improvements have been constructed by East Bay Municipal Utilty District crews or its contractors.
Fire flow tests from pipeline improvements are dramatic! Water flow has improved greatly at the wildland interface. There is now ample water (1,500 gallons per minute per hydrant) to service three engines at the East Bay Regional Park District interface. Prior to the water system improvements, there was barely sufficient water to service even one engine.
Improvements to date have been financed by current tax revenues. KFPD has not incurred any bond indebtedness or required additional assessments from the community. Cost estimates for the improvements were provided in the Kensington Fire Flow Study by EBMUD dated December 1998 and July 2007. The total cost of construction as of fall 2014 is $2,334,797.
KFPD recognizes that flexibility is essential in implementing the Water System Improvements Master Plan. Copies of the Master Plan are available for viewing at the Public Safety Building and the Kensington Library.