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June 8, 2005

Contact: Ian Michaels (718) 595-6600

Department of Environmental Protection Urges That Fire Hydrants Remain Closed

Free Hydrant Spray Caps Available

Commissioner Emily Lloyd of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection urged New Yorkers today to not open fire hydrants illegally during the current heat wave. Hydrants can be opened legally with a free, City-issued spray cap.

“Hydrants are for fighting fires, and should be used responsibly,” said Commissioner Lloyd. “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.”

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.


More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600