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Fun for some can affect the whole community

22 April 2011 13:13

Damaged Fire Hydrant
Anyone who sees groups of kids playing with water shooting out of fire hydrants and thinks its harmless fun should think again.

Those who open hydrants are in fact committing acts of vandalism and are endangering their local community. NI Water is calling on those responsible to consider that their actions could at best inconvenience their neighbours who will suffer from a loss of water supply or low water pressure, or at worst, result in loss of life if a hydrant was unusable due to vandalism.

Ronnie Glendinning, NI Water representative, stresses the seriousness of this activity:

“Damaging fire hydrants is not only extremely dangerous for the people living in the area if a fire was to break out, but also a huge inconvenience to those whose water supply is affected as a result. Unfortunately, this activity is increasing in Belfast, wasting valuable time and money. Last year alone, 74 hydrants were vandalised in North Belfast and 103 in West.

“This activity has serious implications as water hydrants are used by the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service when they report to the scene of a fire. If one or more hydrants are damaged in an area, there is a very real risk that there will be no source of water to extinguish the blaze. This could potentially result in the loss of life.

“I would appeal to everyone to consider who they are putting at risk; it could even be their own family and friends.”

Hydrant abuse also results in an estimated amount of water lost per day that is equivalent to the daily water used in 2000 homes. This is a staggering waste that significantly impacts on NI Water’s ability to maintain flows and pressures to other homes as well as industry including hospitals.

NI Water is asking communities to say “No” to this anti-social behaviour and report vandalism to the PSNI or to Waterline on 08457 440088.

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