Stealing Water Can Damage Hydrants, Hamper Firefighting
Stealing water from fire hydrants is a crime that can put homes and lives in danger and can lead to big costs for the city.
Rockville has 1,407 fire hydrants and spends a good deal of time and money ensuring they are in working order, so that they’re ready in case of an emergency. The hydrants provide water flow that the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service relies on to operate hoses when fighting a fire. Illegal hookups can damage hydrants, reducing water flow and jeopardizing lives.
While ensuring hydrants are operational is important and costly, stealing water can also be costly for thieves, who may face fines if they are caught.
It is common for work trucks to stop by a hydrant, connect a hose and fill a water tank. The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, which provides water service to about 30% of the city, leases meters that allow users to hook up to their water system without incurring a sewer charge. The city does not lease meters and does not allow outside use of its hydrants. Unauthorized use of a public or private fire hydrant is a crime.
If you suspect water theft, report it to the City of Rockville’s public works 24-hour emergency line at 240-314-8567. Be sure to provide the hydrant’s location and a vehicle description. Reports can be made anonymously.
WSSC offers additional information about water theft at wsscwater.com/watertheft.