Sweet Springs loses most its water due to fire hydrant vandals

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SWEET SPRINGS, Mo. -- A $1,000 reward is being offered for information and conviction of the vandal who opened several fire hydrants in Sweet Springs, Mo., and nearly drained the town's water tank of all of its water.

The hydrants were opened early Sunday morning, flooding and damaging streets and roads. The town of nearly 1,500 people went about a day with little to no water pressure.

Police Chief Richard Downing categorized the incident as a serious case of vandalism and said once those who are responsible are found, charges will be filed.

Sweet Springs, Mo."It drained a water tower, 360,000 gallons of water. It pretty well empties the tank. Once it`s emptied, it takes a good day and a half or two days to fill it back up again," Chief Downing said.

Residents began noticing the water pressure was low, but Chief Downing says there are more problems and even danger than just low water pressure.

"We've got motels, schools, a lot of residential here. If we needed water for our fire trucks, we wouldn't have had any of it," Downing said.

The lost water should be replaced by the end of the day on Tuesday.

Some residents think the motive for the the hydrant vandalism may be the high water bills in the area.

"I think it was a boycott. It's sort of like the Tea Party, taxation without representation," said David Goode, a resident.

Call Sweet Springs police at 660.335.6823 if you have any information about the vandals.

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