Chatham Suspects People Are Stealing Water From Town's Fire Hydrants

Chatham, VA-- Over the past couple weeks, the town of Chatham says they've noticed a huge problem. They believe someone is stealing their water.They said it's costing them a lot of money and want to warn residents that it's illegal to take water from fire hydrants without permission.Town manager Edmund Giles said he's very concerned. They've seen a spike in the amount of gallons of water they need to produce.On June 7th they noticed their numbers were over 100,000 gallons more than usual. That day they had to produce 460,000 gallons of water. The next day it increased to around 570,000, and the day after 680,000 gallons.Giles said they've already ruled out leaks or malfunctions with their water system. He suspects some farmers or swimming pool contractors may be taking the water, however, it's illegal. According to the Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office, whoever is guilty is facing a felony charge.

Giles said it's already cost the town $10,000 to keep up with all this extra water.

"To keep the tanks full crews are having to work overtime, we're having to use more chemicals, we have to use a lot more effort in producing this water that we can't show anywhere that it's going," Giles said.

Giles said if anyone needs water in bulk, they are supposed to contact the town, and they'll be charged by the 1000 gallons for water.