(WOIO) - As summer comes to a close – how's your front lawn looking these days? Probably parched and done for the year, thanks to a summer drought and constant water rate hikes. So, it's especially disturbing to find out some water customers have been getting their water – absolutely free!
Carl Monday had no trouble finding a half-dozen users illegally hooked up to city fire hydrants, operating without a required permit. One of them admits, they've been getting free water – for sixteen years! Well, there are seventy-seven thousand hydrants in the Cleveland area. So you can only imagine how many might be tapping those hydrants free of charge.
So what has the water department been doing to stop these hydrant hijackers? Well, not much. The water commissioner says they do nab about fifty illegal hook-ups a year. But no one has ever been prosecuted.
Well, we think this is nonsense. And so does one Cleveland City Councilman who says our investigation is worthy of legislation to up the penalties on water theft.