10 Investigates: Millions Of Gallons Of Water Flowing From Leaky Hydrant
More than half a million gallons of water gushed out a leaking fire hydrant - and it's taken more than a year for anybody to fix it. There's also confusion to who owns the hydrant near the Columbus Audubon Center.
10 Investigates received emails from people tired of seeing a small swamp form outside of the dog park near the Audubon Center. Molly Hogue walks her dogs often at the park near the Audubon Center and called the leak into the city. "People are pointing the finger at who's going to pay for it. That's a travesty. This is a park that's about environmental concerns,” said Hogue.
People at the Dog Park say they've noticed the growing ponds of water for quite a while. When asked when he first noticed the leak, Kevin Brownfield explained, "Last summer, the middle of the summer. It was probably June or July."
10TV used a 32 ounce water bottle and a stopwatch to measure how much water was leaking from the hydrant. The bottle was filled in 16 seconds. That comes out to a gallon a minute or 44,000 – 50,000 gallons a month. The City of Columbus would charge a residential user around $450 a month for that much water. If the leak went more than a year as dog park patrons claimed, that would amount to between 500,000 to 700,000 gallons of water wasted.
The leaking hydrant is painted red. That typically means it's a private fire hydrant. The city confirms that, but says it's not metered - so taxpayers foot the bill. We went to the neighboring warehouse and talked to a manager of a gym that rents out space there.
When asked how long the leak had been going on, the manager identifying himself as Mitch answered, "It's been going on for a while. I would just let it go." When asked what was being done to fix the leak, Mitch answered, "I don't know. Metro Parks is coming to fix it. They were out here this morning."
Metro Parks says the hydrant is not theirs. The company that owns the neighboring warehouse says the hydrant is not their property.
Metro Parks' Deputy Director says the "history of the utilities is confusing since the creation of the park." While still not claiming ownership of the hydrant, Metro Parks says they will take responsibility to fix this leak. They are hiring a contractor to remove the hydrant and stop the leak.
Metro Parks says that contractor is expected to fix this leak in the next few days.
The City of Columbus has a tip line for water leaks in your neighborhood. It can be reached all hours at 614-645-7788.
This water leak is getting fixed after word came into to the10 Investigates Tip line.