Chicago’s Fire Hydrants At Risk?

Chicago’s Fire Hydrants At Risk?

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The cost of scrap metal continues to go up. And that’s got some Chicago alderman worried about the city’s fire hydrants.

Alderman Bob Fioretti says a crucial brass ring found in hydrants is scoring big bucks with junk yards.

FIORETTI: The brass that we use, that weighs almost 10 pounds, is the highest quality of brass that’s produced in the United States. And so it’s very expensive.

Scrap yard owners say the rings could fetch up to $15. And Fioretti wants to make sure the sale doesn’t happen. The city council could vote today on an ordinance that would punish junk yards that buy stolen hydrant parts. But it’s unclear how often the thefts occur. Fire department spokesman Larry Langford says he doesn’t think it’s a significant problem. 

For Chicago Public Radio, I’m Hunter Clauss.