THE BRONX - The city is getting the word out about a program designed to prevent fire hydrant water abuse.
The city's Department of Environmental Protection has partnered with a community organization to create the Hydrant Education Action Team, or HEAT. HEAT representatives are distributing fliers outside subways, parks and throughout neighborhoods.
Officials say illegally opened hydrants cause low water pressure, which depletes water supplies in the event of a fire. Illegally opened hydrants also waste up to 600 gallons of water per minute, according to the DEP. The practice is subject to fines.
Anyone who is 18 or older can obtain fire hydrant spray caps from local firehouses for free. The spray caps reduce water output to around 25 gallons per minute. Hydrants can legally be opened if fitted with a spray cap.