JUNCTION CITY, Kan. -- Junction City police are asking for help tracking down thieves who have been taking water from public hydrants, putting a strain on the city’s water supply.
Officials revealed Friday that the city cannot account for approximately 30% of their water usage and has been told by the State of Kansas that the town is exceeding its allotted usage of water and could suffer sanctions if the issue is not controlled.
While officials think most of the missing water is due to old inaccurate meters and leakage, some of it’s believed to be from those stealing water in bulk from hydrants throughout the city.
Junction City police have received reports of tanker trucks and trailers with tanks on them being filled up. Police think the water is being used to fill up pools, construction or agricultural purposes.
“The police department will be asking citizens to keep on the lookout for particularly people who may be taking water in remote areas of the city with these trucks, maybe during the nighttime hours,” said JCPD Chief Tim Brown.
To follow proper procedures and acquire city water in bulk legally, contact the Customer Service Center for the City of Junction City at 785-238-3103.
Police are asking that any citizen who sees an individual getting water from a city fire hydrant to call Junction City Police at 785-762-5912 or Crimestoppers at 785-762-TIPS (8477). Those citizens should make every effort to obtain a full and complete description of the vehicle and the tag number to give to police should the suspect vehicle leave prior to the officers getting there.
“The theft of city water is a crime and will be pursued as such through the courts,” Chief Brown said in a press release.
“No matter if it’s a dollar worth of water or ten thousand dollars worth of water, it doesn’t make a difference. It’s still a crime and it costs taxpayers money through higher water rates,” he told WIBW.