FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE03-33
Department of Environmental Protection Cautions Against Opening Fire Hydrants Illegally
On the hottest day of the year so far, Commissioner Christopher O. Ward
of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection warned New
Yorkers about the hazards of illegally opened fire hydrants and urged
them to observe water use regulations.
“Hydrants are for fighting fires, and should be used responsibly,”
said Commissioner Ward. “Illegally opened hydrants can lower water
pressure, causing problems at hospitals and other medical care facilities,
and hindering fire-fighting by reducing the flow of water to hoses and
pumps. Also, children can be at serious risk, because the powerful force
of a open hydrant without a spray cap can push them into oncoming traffic.”
Hydrants can be opened legally if it’s equipped with a City-approved
spray cap. One illegally opened hydrant wastes up to 1,000 gallons of
water per minute, while a hydrant with a spray cap only puts out around
25 gallons per minute. Spray caps can be obtained by an adult 18 or over,
free of charge, at local fire houses.
The penalty for opening a hydrant without a spray cap is $500. To report
illegally opened hydrants or other water or sewer complaints, call the
City’s 24-hour help line at 311.