FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE03-36
Department of Environmental Protections Issues Water Pressure Warning
Urges That Fire Hydrants Remain Closed
Commissioner Christopher O. Ward of the New York City Department of Environmental
Protection issued a water pressure warning this morning after pressure
dropped in neighborhoods in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. Commissioner
Ward blamed illegally opened fire hydrants and urged New Yorkers 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.”
Low water pressure was noted this morning in Manhattan in Washington
Heights and Inwood, in Brooklyn in East New York, and in Queens in South
Jamaica and Richmond Hill.
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.
Hydrants can be opened legally if 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 firehouses.