Open hydrants cause water problems in Camden

June 1, 2011 2:42:38 PM PDT
People trying to beat the heat in Camden are causing some serious water issues in the city.

Officials say it is the perfect storm - a long holiday weekend combined with unseasonably warm temperatures means a number of people have been illegally opening fire hydrants to cool off.

"When the fire hydrants are turned on in the city it depletes our reserves," said Camden Mayor Dana Redd. "So, we've asked the residents to please refrain from turning on the fire hydrants."

Redd says the use of the hydrants is causing low water pressure.

"We have our public works director who is monitoring the reserves, our water levels, and we want to make sure that we maintain the standard water levels to enhance public safety in the City of Camden," said Mayor Redd.

The illegal use of fire hydrants means homes had low water pressure and some areas had water with a brownish tint.

"We've been drinking bottled water and washing up with spring water and it's starting to get a little expensive," said Camden resident Marlena Knapper. "Everyone's entitled to clean water at least."

Anyone caught opening fire hydrants can be subjected to penalties and fines not exceeding $2,000, or imprisonments not exceeding 90 days, or both.

Residents are urged to report any open/turned on fire hydrants to the Camden Police Department at 856-757-7482 or to United Water (Emergency Number) at 856-488-2041.

Instead of using fire hydrants, the City of Camden is encouraging residents to take advantage of free spray pools.

They will be on from 12:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the following locations:

6th and Erie
Ralph Williams
Alberta Woods
7th and Clinton
4th and Clinton
4th and Jasper