HONOLULU BOARD OF WATER SUPPLY
This is what an authorized hookup to a Board of Water Supply fire hydrant would look like.
Hydrant linkup likely a case of water theft
I noticed a construction truck pull up to a fire hydrant on Kalanipuu Street in Hawaii Kai, unscrew the cap from the yellow hydrant, then attach the hose from the truck to the hydrant and seemingly fill a tank on the truck. The truck was from a construction firm and had a large tank mounted in the truck bed -- it was not a Board of Water Supply truck. Is it OK to do that? Is that stealing water from the city?
Answer: Because of your inquiry, the Board of Water Supply has launched an investigation.
So far, it "appears to be an illegal hookup," said agency spokeswoman Wanda Yamane.
"Water theft is a serious offense and the Board of Water Supply depends upon the assistance of the community to stop" it, she said.
You're advised to call police at 911 immediately if you suspect an illegal hookup, because "the culprit needs to be caught in the act of taking water from the fire hydrant," Yamane said.
"Theft of water service" is a Class C felony under state law, she added, and if convicted, the thief faces a minimum $1,000 fine and possible jail time.
No one other than an employee of the Fire Department is allowed to take water from a fire hydrant, unless authorized by the Board of Water Supply.
Applicants must file a request with the board, sign an agreement, then pay a $125 installation and removal fee for the hookup.
"Water use is metered, based on our commercial water rates, and the applicant is responsible for paying for all usage from the hydrant each month," Yamane said.
In most cases, you can tell a hookup is authorized by the water meter and "complex piping" attached to the hydrant, she said.
"If water is being taken directly from a fire hydrant where the cover has been popped off and a hose is directly connected to the hydrant, it is likely that the water is being stolen," Yamane said.
The water sprinkler is always on, for whatever reason, near the onramp to the H-1 freeway, Waianae-bound, from Likelike Highway. Everyone always talks about conserving water, but for some reason, the sprinkler there is always on. I called the Board of Water Supply to report the problem, but somehow, this section is always being watered. -- No Name
We passed your concern on to the state Department of Transportation. You can also report broken sprinklers to the department's Highways Division hot line, 831-6714.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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