A dry hydrant should be situated next to an all-weather road with access to a pond or lake at least 4 to 5 feet deep. The depth is necessary to allow the inlet pipe to remain clear of the bottom while preventing a vortex that could interrupt pumping.
A dry hydrant is an emergency water source for firefighters working in areas that are not served by pressurized water mains. They can also be valuable when natural disasters have interrupted utility service in a region, disrupting normal utility service. Fire stations in rural areas employ tanker trucks that can draw water from these dry hydrants, transport it to the area of a fire and feed other firefighting vehicles.