A local water delivery company has been caught stealing water from a fire hydrant in what Goulburn Mulwaree Council described as theft from ratepayers and a risk to water safety and quality.
The company has been fined by council for the theft.
Filling water tankers from fire hydrants poses a high risk to water quality, with no protection against backflow from the tanker into the mains.
Council said this places the general public’s water supply at high risk of contamination.
“This is theft not from council but directly from the community,” said Goulburn Mulwaree Council general manager Warwick Bennett. “Our ratepayers pay for the use of water and it’s upsetting to see a company taking water from a fire hydrant which is there for safety and the use of firefighters or council only.
“The risk to public health is what is really frustrating as this could potentially be dangerous for our residents if it occurred.”
There are three designated fill points in Goulburn and one in Marulan that allow tankers to fill with water from outlets with backflow protection to prevent cross-contamination of the water supply.
Goulburn Mulwaree Council is appealing to the public to call 02 4823 4444 to report anyone other than the fire brigade or council taking water from a fire hydrant, and, if possible, take a photo of the occurrence with a mobile phone.