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Pair Investigated for Possibly Stealing Water from Fire Hydrant

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SACRAMENTO-

The City of Sacramento is investigating whether two men stole water from a fire hydrant.

The incident happened Wednesday afternoon on the 8100 block of Elder Creek Road.

Sacramento police observed the men drawing water from a city hydrant into a rented truck with the capacity to hold at least 2,000 gallons of water.

Police cited the driver for not having a valid driver's license and sent the truck to a tow yard.

The truck's two-man crew did not possess a permit to draw water from a hydrant, according to the Sacramento Department of Utilities.

"We're still looking and seeing if maybe they just didn't have the permit on them," said Department of Utilities representative, Rina Serran. "But from what we know, they did not have a permit."

A man who works at a business near the hydrant said he has seen the truck drawing water there every day for at least a week and using it to water down a nearby construction site.

A manager at Blue Line Rental, the company that owns the water truck, said the person who filled out the paperwork to rent the truck had a valid driver's license.

He also said Blue Line is not required to make sure water truck renters have permits to draw water from a hydrant. That responsibility falls on the renters.

The manager expressed irritation that the truck was taken to a tow yard, and he said he plans to bill the renter for extra expenses.

In Sacramento, the initial permit to draw water from a fire hydrant ranges from $200 to $600, plus monthly fees for repeated tapping.

With the proper permits, the practice is allowed for dirt control and cleanup on construction sites.

The penalties for taking water from a hydrant without a permit range between $100 and $1,000.

Sacramento residents suspecting water misuse can call 311 to reach the city and request an investigation.