Pennsylvania American Water Alerts Public About Unauthorized Hydrant Use

Illegal use jeopardizes local water service


SCRANTON, Pa. (October 8, 2019) – Pennsylvania American Water reminded the public today that tampering with a hydrant is a crime and could result in penalties including prison time and significant fines, or a combination of both. The company issued the warning following a number of incidents in recent weeks of water quality issues caused by individuals tapping into hydrants without permission.


“We need to prevent unauthorized use of fire hydrants, which can jeopardize reliability and put the community’s fire protection at risk,” said Traci Cross, senior manager of operations, Pennsylvania American Water. “Using fire hydrants without authorization also disrupts water service for customers and businesses, causing water quality issues such as low pressure or discoloration.”


Unplanned, non-emergency use can compromise the reliability of the hydrants and disrupt the company’s ability to provide high-quality, reliable water service to customers. Furthermore, unauthorized hydrant use can reduce water pressure in the system and affect water service and quality. Reduced pressure is not only an inconvenience for customers, but it can also create a dangerous situation should a fire or other legitimate need occur in another part of the water system.


Unauthorized use can also cause damage to a fire hydrant, rendering it inoperative when needed to fight fires. Oftentimes, these damages are not discovered until hydrants are inspected, or by firefighters when called to an emergency.  Unauthorized use of a hydrant can be reported to the local police department or Pennsylvania American Water’s customer service center at 1-800-565-7292 or 570-351-0116.


Cross added, “We need residents to be aware and help us spread the word that if you see someone tampering with fire hydrant, please report it to your local law enforcement officials immediately.”


Pennsylvania American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.4 million people. With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 7,100 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to more than 14 million people in 46 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  


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Location: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Issued: 10/8/19
Start Time: 1pm
End Time: 12am
Expires: 12/31/19
Contact Name: Pennsylvania American Water
Contact Phone: 800-565-7292
Posted in: Other