Thursday, August 03, 2006

Heat Wave Special: Open Hydrant Relief

As long as fire hydrants have existed, Brooklynites have sought out these urban oases on hot summer days. New York Times writer Michael Cooper aptly described the open hydrant as a "one of the defining symbols of summer in New York City." In the Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, there is a terrific scene developed around a group of neighborhood kids seeking relief and having fun at an open hydrant. In light of tradition and because of the current heat wave, City Hall is urging residents not to open fire hydrants and to report open hydrants by calling 311. One illegally opened hydrant wastes up to 1,000 gallons of water per minute. While it may be illegal to fully open up a water hydrant, New Yorkers can legally open a hydrant with a spray cap. That only puts out around 25 gallons per minute. Spray caps can be obtained by an adult 18 or over, free of charge, at local firehouses.


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