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D.C. Water: Don't use hydrants to cool off this summer

Tuesday - 6/17/2014, 5:38pm  ET

WASHINGTON - D.C. Water is asking residents to leave the fire hydrants alone as the temperatures soar this summer.

Meddling with hydrants can flood streets, reduce water pressure, damage the water system and make fighting fires more difficult. It's also illegal and any one caught opening a hydrant could be fined $100.

"Fire hydrants are for fighting fires," said DC Water General Manager George Hawkins in a statement. "We have invested considerably in our fire hydrant replacement and upgrade program, but if a hydrant is damaged from someone opening it without the proper tools, it can be rendered useless."

Instead, residents are urged to take advantage of District swimming pools, recreation centers, cooling centers or senior centers to beat the heat. Residents can call 311 for locations and details.

D.C. Water also has misting and cooling stations available to rent for large events. Event planners can visit dcwater.com/mistingtent or call 202-787-2200 for more information.

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Tags: dc waterhydrantheat