2016-06-15 / Front Page

Reminder: Don’t Sweat, Open Hydrants Legally

By Liz Goff
We’ve all seen them – images of children dancing between bubbles of water from neighborhood fire hydrants. But officials are warning the public that those images come at a high price for adults who open hydrants illegally in any of the five boroughs.

As summertime approaches with the promise of warmer temperatures, city officials are reminding Queens residents that they could face a stiff fine, or jail time, if they open fire hydrants without an FDNY spray cap.

Officials at the city Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) are again warning Queens residents that opening a fire hydrant without a spray cap can lower water pressure and make it difficult for firefighters to extinguish fires.

DEP officials also warned that the powerful force of 1,000 gallons per minute from an open hydrant could cause injury to young children.

DEP officials will be sending enforcement agents into neighborhoods throughout Queens as temperatures rise, to track down offenders reported to the 311 system and others caught using hydrants without the approved spray caps, agency officials said.

Police and firefighters will also be on the lookout for offenders. Cops and firefighters will turn off hydrants and report offenders to DEP for enforcement, officials said.

City-approved spray caps, which limit spray to about 25 gallons of water per minute, may be obtained free by adults 18 or over, at firehouses throughout Queens.

DEP officials are urging residents to obtain one of the spray caps to avoid a possible $1,000 fine or jail time.



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