Water Supply Could Have Been Tainted By Drug User, Says Cops

Man Accused of Trying to Draw Water From City Hydrant While High On Drugs

Barrie Police say a tanker driver was high on drugs when he tried to tamper with a city hydrant, potentially tainting the city’s water supply in the process.

A 911 call started it all, with reports of a water tanker truck driving recklessly along Dunlop Street in Barrie, around 9:00 on the night of May 31st.

Man Accused Of Trying to Siphon Water Out of Hydrant

Officers tracked the truck to the dead end of Ferndale Industrial Parkway, resting against a cement barrier, with a large hose running from it to a nearby fire hydrant. The driver, a 40-year-old Barrie man, was found at the side of the truck tinkering with some equipment, allegedly attempting to siphon water out of the hydrant.

Barrie Police say the man did poorly on a field sobriety test, high on an unspecified drug.

The City of Barrie were brought in and determined a meter attached to the hydrant had been bypassed. Under certain conditions, water and any other contaminants from the truck could have been drawn back into the drinking water system, potentially contaminating the city’s potable water supply.

“City of Barrie Drinking Water Is Safe”

“The City regularly monitors and tests the water supply to ensure safe drinking water and can confirm that the City of Barrie drinking water is safe.” says Director of Environmental Services John Thompson,  “Immediately upon being notified by Police about the theft of water on May 31st, at Ferndale Industrial Parkway, Barrie’s Water Operations staff investigated and determined there had been no impact to the City’s water supply – and the system was secure. Theft of water from a fire hydrant does carry a risk of potential contamination. However, in this particular case the threat was extremely low due to the high pressure at the hydrant, which is a result of where the hydrant is located.”

The suspect has since been charged with Impaired Driving and Theft.