Peterborough Utilities is asking the public to keep an eye out for scofflaws siphoning water from the city’s fire hydrants.
“We don’t want to make a federal case out of this,” said David Whitehouse, vice-president of customer and corporate services with the Peterborough Utilities Group. “We just want people to do the right thing.”
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Whitehouse said the issue came to light a few weeks ago when customers noticed contractors using hydrants to fill up vacuum trucks.
Accessing a fire hydrant without the proper equipment does create a risk for water contamination, though Whitehouse said it’s a small one.
The greater issue, he said, is the loss of revenue to the city and accessing this particular city service without permission.
Whitehouse said the city can accommodate contractors who need to access water through a fire hydrant.
The utilities company can equip the hydrant with a backflow preventer and a metre to ensure the process is safe, and the water is paid for.
Whitehouse adds that the city sells water in bulk, at a very low price –$1 for 800 litres.