Water vandalism has left 1,700 Florida residents high and dry, after unidentified perpetrators have drained approximately 400,000 gallons of potable water from the local supply.
The incident has been reported on Monday, January 18, in Flagler County, from northeast Florida. In a press release issue by Heidi Petito, the county’s director of general services, it was revealed that the act of vandalism involved a total of 20 water supply lines.
The valves that have been compromised in the attack are located on the Plantation Reserve Estates, a subdivision of Flager County that had been abandoned and severely underdeveloped until recently.
In the last few months, the once deserted community, which had been kept under locks for half a decade, appeared to be experiencing a revival, after a couple of dozens luxury houses were built by Focas Development in this area.
Now it seems that as the gates of the Plantation Reserve Estates have opened, problems didn’t take long to set in. Someone on this property vandalized the water supply, leaving the pipes from Old Dixie Highway running sometime between 3:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., on Sunday, January 17.
As a result, the amount of drinkable water reaching local residents is currently excessively low, with water pressure having been reduced considerably.
That is why public health authorities have issued a boil-water advisory (BWA), through which Plantation Bay customers that have been affected by this act of vandalism are urged to bring tap water to a boil for at least 60 seconds, in order to make it safe for consumption.
Such directives, also known as boil-water orders, are normally handed out when there are suspicions that the water supply has been contaminated with harmful organisms, such as viruses, bacteria and protozoa.
In this case, although authorities haven’t yet identified such an infestation with pathogens like Escherichia coli, a compulsory BWA was still launched, given that low pressure makes it more likely for disease-causing microorganisms to be present in the water supply network.
Meanwhile, this incident of water vandalism, which has resulted in monetary losses amounting to $2,500, has led to an inquest being conducted by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, in order to establish the identity of the perpetrator who caused such extensive damage.
So far, no persons of interest have been mentioned in the investigation, and no one has been apprehended in relation to this property destruction, treated as a criminal mischief.
Those who hold any relevant information regarding the water vandalism are urged to contact Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida, at 1-888-277-8477. A reward will be provided to the person who assists law enforcement in bringing the guilty person(s) to justice.
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