Utility seeks help putting end to fire hydrant tampering

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) Kentucky American Water is asking the public to be on the lookout for an individual or individuals tampering with fire hydrants around Fayette County.

Since Feb. 10 of this year five fire hydrants in various parts of the county have been found open and running water.

“Well-functioning fire hydrants are important parts of the water distribution system and critical for fighting fires,” said Dave Farrar, Kentucky American Water’s vice president of operations. “Unauthorized persons opening fire hydrants risk damaging the fire hydrant, the underground water main it’s connected to as well as nearby properties, since the rushing water could cause flooding and other damage if not managed properly. Only Kentucky American Water personnel and official Lexington-Fayette County firefighters are permitted to open Kentucky American Water fire hydrants in Fayette County. Opening a fire hydrant without permission results in water being used from the water system but not accounted for, and is considered theft. Those who do so will be prosecuted.”

Fire hydrants owned and operated by Kentucky American Water include small, round “sleeves” on their caps with language that helps discourage tampering and unauthorized usage.

Kentucky American Water personnel open hydrants from time to time as a regular part of operations, such as during the company’s annual water system “flushing” program that begins this month.

If someone observes suspected unauthorized use of a fire hydrant or observes a fire hydrant left open with water running from it without a fire fighter or Kentucky American Water personnel present, citizens are encouraged to call Lexington Police at (859) 258-3600 to report it. Citizens should not approach individuals.

Kentucky American Water, a subsidiary of American Water, is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately half a million people.

With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 6,800 professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to 15 million people in 46 states.

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