Chicago water officials: ‘Do not open the hydrants’

June 27, 2012

Jewell Washington

Chicago city officials are warning residents that opening fire hydrants to keep cool is against the law.

Barrett Murphy is with the Chicago Department of Water Management. He said residents should go to cooling centers, pools or beaches instead of using water from fire hydrants.  

“Open hydrants place everybody in the neighborhood at risk by these children playing in the fire stream. They can’t be seen by passing cars,” he said. “And you potentially are creating accidents that could put lives at risk.”

Murphy said opening the hydrants affect the water pressure which makes it difficult for fire crews to put out fires.

A water management spokesman said anyone opening a fire hydrant could be arrested or fined up to $500.