Southern California water company targets water thieves

A recent phenomenon has been increasing in popularity, and illegality. Often practiced by contracting companies, water thieving is becoming an increasingly serious problem. Water agencies and water purveyors have been trying to crack down on this problem because it costs them money and creates potential for the water supply to be contaminated.
Water thieves are able to steal water by connecting hoses to fire hydrants and filling tank trucks. Tank trucks have a capacity of a few hundred gallons up to over 5,000 gallons. Many construction companies already own tank trucks for transporting various liquid products. They feel the need to steal water from the local water purveyors because legally, they are required to apply for a water meter and place a deposit of approximately $800 (which would be returned to the customer when the water meter is returned).
Water thieving can create a major problem for water agencies because they have defined amounts of water that they are allowed to use. Pumping any more water than that, and they will face a heavy fine from the State. Aside from these fines, the trucks used to transport stolen water are often not washed before use. This causes potential for contaminants to enter the water supply. This may not seem like much of a problem when the trucks transport water from other sources, but they are sometimes used to transport untreated sewage.
If you see any suspicious activity, please report it to your local authorities.
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Brian O’Neill


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