Police say they think someone is maliciously opening fire hydrants and the water released is causing traffic problems, potential property damage and wasting large amounts of water.
Moline Police and water department personnel have been called to four reports of leaking fire hydrants during overnight hours in the past two weekends. Each time, they find the hydrants opened and water flowing.
“Tampering with any part of a public water supply can constitute a violation of the homeland security laws and, depending on the incident, individuals could be prosecuted federally,” said Detective Scott Williams of the Moline Police Department.
Open hydrants can potentially flood streets, compromise pavement integrity and the water can freeze to make travel dangerous in winter weather conditions.
Police said wasted water and the potential for serious property damage are also possible when fire hydrants are opened illegally.
Residents who see someone tampering with a fire hydrant should call 911. If you know who opened the hydrants, you can call Crime Stoppers at (309) 762-9500 and potentially be eligible for up to a $1,000 cash reward.