When hydrants are opened illegally, the water rushes out uncontrolled, causing water pressure to drop in the immediate area. That means firefighters may not have adequate pressure to put out a fire. Also, persons who illegally open hydrants usually do not have the correct tools, and frequently smash and destroy the hydrant. Only the Fire Department, the Milwaukee Water Works, and projects with a public works permit may open hydrants.
Illegally opened hydrants waste millions of gallons of treated water, and misuse the Lake Michigan resource. Please scroll down for safe ways to keep cool.
Fire Hydrants are for fires, not for fun
- A broken hydrant can’t be used to fight fires.
- An open hydrant lowers water pressure and hampers firefighting.
- The strong spray of water is dangerous for children.
- The water spray obstructs the view of drivers who may not see pedestrians or other vehicles in the water spray and has caused accidents.
It’s a Crime
- The penalty for tampering with a hydrant is a $1,000 fine or 30 days in jail.
- Report tampering and illegal hydrant opening by calling the Milwaukee Water Works’ 24-hour Control Center, (414) 286-3710.
Illegally Opened Hydrants are expensive
- Hydrant open one hour = water-only cost $312.00
- Hydrant open five hours = water-only cost $1,388.00
- Damaged or broken hydrant = $2,330.00
- Buildings are flooded resulting in property damage
Other Ways to Cool Off
Cool Spots provide a place to cool off in a water spray on hot summer days. Sprinklers are connected to fire hydrants provided by the Milwaukee Water Works at several Milwaukee Public Schools playgrounds. For ages 6-17. Cool Spots are open weekdays when the temperature is predicted to be 85 degrees or hotter, or when the City of Milwaukee issues a heat advisory. During a heat advisory, Cool Spots will be open Monday-Friday from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
MPS Recreation Wading Pools are another great way to stay cool on those hot summer days! Wading pools are open Monday-Friday (and Saturday at Enderis) from June 20th through August 12th.
*All sites will be closed Monday, July 4th for the Independence Day holiday.
**Enderis Wading Pool is closed Saturday, July 2nd for the Independence Day holiday.
- Cool off in a Milwaukee County community center pool. For information, call the 24-hour Pool and Beach Hotline, (414) 257-7230, or visit county.milwaukee.gov/Pools9145.htm.
- Play in the water at the David F. Schulz Aquatic Center in Lincoln Park, 1301 W. Hampton Ave. or at the Hoyt Park & Pool, 1850 N. Swan Blvd.
- Cool off at a Lake Michigan beach. Visit a library or museum. Watch penguins splashing or share the heat with a bear at the Milwaukee County Zoo.
- Turn on a hose and sprinkler in your yard and invite your neighbors to cool off.
Here is a guide to MPS summer activities milwaukeerecreation.net/activity-guide/FullGuide.pdf