Vandals strike nine hydrants in Red Deer’s southeast

Unknown vandals have caused one of the most significant strikes against fire hydrants in the City of Red Deer’s history.

Unknown vandals have caused one of the most significant strikes against fire hydrants in the City of Red Deer’s history.

On Wednesday, RCMP reported that the search is on for one or more culprits who opened valves on nine different hydrants in the southeast area early of the city early Tuesday morning.

The first incident was reported to police at 2 a.m. when firefighters discovered water spewing from three hydrants near the Hunting Hills High School.

Further breaches were reported at 6 a.m. at the Notre Dame High School and at 9:30 a.m. at another site in Lancaster.

There were some drops in water pressure, with the total amount of water loss estimated at 1,500 cubic metres — enough to supply 100 homes for a full month, water superintendent Alex Monkman said on Wednesday.

Although the water would eventually return to the natural systems from which it was drawn, losing that much water represents a significant cost for treatment, said Monkman.

There is also some concern that chlorinated water may have reached Gaetz Lakes, which takes the storm sewer drainage from that area of the city, he said.

It is believed that the chlorine would have dissipated during the seven-kilometre trip through the storm sewers to the environmental sanctuary and there is no sign of trouble so far. However, city staff are monitoring Gaetz Lakes in case of environmental damaged as a result of the release, he said.

There was no damage to city property in the areas where the water was released, although the high pressure of water jetting from the hydrants may have affected grassy areas to some extent, said Monkman.

Mischief to fire hydrants has been reported in the past, but is quite rare, with the scale of this series of strikes being quite a bit higher than any that have been reported previously, said Monkman.

Fire hydrants are installed and maintained as an essential public service, primarily for fighting fires, he said. Damage to the system can cause problems in water pressure and may also have insurance implications for people living in the affected area, he said.

Each hydrant is checked twice a year, in part to ensure that firefighters will have no trouble opening the valves when they need water for emergencies.

Cpl. Karyn Kay of the Red Deer RCMP said investigators are reviewing surveillance videos from the affected sites.

“This isn’t a prank. It’s a Criminal Code offence, and those responsible may face criminal charges as well as being held responsible for water damage to any properties,” said Kay.

“Criminal behaviour like this is a waste of police and fire resources and a waste of our water resources,” she said.

Police are interested in hearing from anyone who may have information that may help with the investigation. Tips may be made directly to the detachment by calling 403-343-5575. To remain anonymous, tips can be entered online to www.tipsubmit.com or by calling Crime Stoppers, 1-800-222-8477.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Rural transit service rolled out

2A South Regional Transit will link Innisfail and Penhold with Red Deer

Red Deer ‘champion’ helps hospital by sharing ongoing petition

It’s been about three years since many physicians at Red Deer Regional… Continue reading

Red Deer Airport’s prospects are looking up for 2019

Ultra-low-cost passenger service is on the horizon

Funding down for Red Deer Christmas charities

Food hampers and toys for children going out to those in need

UPDATED: Delburne man found not guilty in connection with 2016 fatal rollover

Daniel Wayne Newsham had been on trial for manslaughter

UPDATED: Delburne man found not guilty in connection with 2016 fatal rollover

Daniel Wayne Newsham had been on trial for manslaughter

Penny Marshall dead at 75, best known as TV’s Laverne and director of ‘Big,’ ‘A League of Their Own’

Bronx-born Penny Marshall, who found ’70s sitcom success on “Laverne and Shirley”… Continue reading

Chabot scores overtime winner to lift Senators over Predators 4-3

OTTAWA — Thomas Chabot saw an opening and he took it. And… Continue reading

Canadian Marielle Thompson earns World Cup ski cross bronze in season opener

AROSA, Switzerland — Canada’s Marielle Thompson captured bronze at the opening World… Continue reading

Canada doesn’t make Oscars short list for best foreign language film

LOS ANGELES — Canada is no longer in the running for best… Continue reading

Warrant issued for arrest of ‘Schwimmer lookalike’ suspect

LONDON — A British judge has issued an arrest warrant for an… Continue reading

Moneywise: Canadian workers unhappy with pay, want pension plans

Many working Canadians are feeling underpaid and are so worried about their… Continue reading

Brazil police say faith healer has turned himself in

RIO DE JANEIRO — A celebrity faith healer accused of sexually abusing… Continue reading

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

VANCOUVER — Nicola Froese says she has always loved playing sports, but… Continue reading

Most Read