ORMOND BEACH, Fla. — Jan. 18, 2016 — Vandals drained 400,000 gallons of water from the Plantation Bay drinking water system in Flagler County, Florida, raising concerns about potential contamination, according to news sources.
The incident on Sunday prompted officials to issue a boil water order. A CodeRED alert was sent to 1,700 water utility customers in the area and will remain in effect until further notice.
“When all of that water was drained, the water pressure dropped,” explained Heidi Petito, general services director. “The boil water notice is precautionary, and is required any time the water pressure drops below a certain level.”
The vandals opened about 20 valves in the largely undeveloped Plantation Reserve Estates and left them running.
“They certainly knew good and well that they were doing damage, or at least costing someone money,” said Jim Troinao of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, as quoted by News 6. “A 1-inch diameter hose; that’s going to provide a pretty good display of water coming out of it, so someone had a great time.”
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident, and Troinao told News 6 that the person responsible could face jail time.
“Depending on their criminal history, they could be looking (at) up to five years in prison associated with the penalty of a felony criminal mischief,” he said in the article.
Officials estimate that the act of vandalism will cost the county around $2,500.