It happened Wednesday, November 20, 2013, around 8:30AM. A Snoqualmie resident said a large truck with a water tank on the back pulled up to a fire hydrant on Fairway Place SE and hooked a hose to it. The resident said the truck sat idling for about 30 minutes while it appeared to be filling the tank with hydrant water.
After seeing a photo of the incident, a City of Snoqualmie spokesperson stated the Public Works Department did not issue a permit for that hydrant water removal, which is required for a party wishing to use city water. The resident was asked to call police and report the incident, but by then the truck had already left.
The truck was not located by Snoqualmie Police. Head of the city’s Public Works Department said water theft is rare in Snoqualmie. Police say it’s hard to put a monetary value on Wednesday’s alleged water removal without knowing the total taken, stated that if the amount was valued at over $350, it would be a felony.
The City of Snoqualmie said non-authorized vehicles using city water from hydrants is considered theft. If residents see anyone filling up at a hydrant, other than a city-marked vehicle like a fire engine, it would be helpful to call 911 and report the location of the incident. Police can then respond and request to see the required permit.
The city added that residents should not hesitate to call 911 for non-emergencies, whether it is water theft, strangers loitering or anything that seems out of the ordinary. It is the fastest way to connect with on-duty Snoqualmie Police officers.
Meanwhile, on Thursday night, November 21, 2013, a Stellar Ave homeowner said police and fire crews responded to an open hydrant near their home. The homeowner said the fast-spraying water made an icy mess of the street, as temps were below freezing.
The resident added that police and firefighters who responded to the incident thought whoever opened the hydrant (possibly) had the special wrench used by emergency and city crews.