Tampering with Cornwall water system

Two fire hydrants, like this one on Second Street West on Friday, June 1, 2018, have been tampered with in the city's west end, as well as a pumping station on Harbour Road. Police are still trying to determine if the three cases are connected. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

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CORNWALL – City police are investigating three cases where somebody has been tampering with the city’s water supply.

The meddling happened between Thursday night and Friday morning (May 31 and June 1) and involved two city fire hydrants and a pumping station on Harbour Road.

The first fire hydrant was tampered with on Vincent Massey Drive around 11 p.m. Thursday and then the second, around Power Dam Drive, was fiddled with in the early morning hours on Friday.

Also, early Friday morning, someone got into the pumping station on Harbour Road “where the…controls at the Harbour Road location had been tampered with, resulting in water backing up,” police spokesman Stephanie MacRae said.

Cornwall Municipal Works Division Manager Bill de Wit told CNW there is “no concern whatsoever” regarding public safety and the water supply.

In the case of the fire hydrants, de Wit said they were opened, while at the pumping station, somebody got into the building.

“It would appear that somebody went into the pumping station and turned off the pumps, tampering with the switches inside. There was an issue with the door so we had the door fixed,” de Wit added.

While they’re “not 100 per cent sure,” it’s believed the door wasn’t closing and locking property, allowing somebody to get in.

De Wit says the pumping stations usually get a weekly visit and are also monitored by alarms. He says the switch tampering was discovered during the inspection before the alarms went off.

A police investigation is ongoing but police have not yet been able to determine whether all three cases are connected. Police have no suspects. They are asking anyone with information to call them at 613-932-2110 or the anonymous tip line at 613-933-5000 extension 2404.

De Wit added that anyone who has issues with a fire hydrant should call the 24-7 Public Works dispatch at 613-932-5354.

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