Vandals drain 400,000 gallons from Flagler water system

Officials issue boil water alert for 1,700 residents

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. - Vandals drained 400,000 gallons of water from the Flagler County water supply, prompting officials to issue a boil water alert.

Detectives said the vandals opened about 20 valves at the Plantation Bay water system sometime Sunday and left them running. Authorities said the incident likely occurred between 3:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.

"They certainly knew good and well that they were doing damage, or at least costing someone money," said Jim Troinao, of the Flagler County Sheriff's Office. "A 1-inch diameter hose; that's going to provide a pretty good display of water coming out of it, so someone had a great time."

About 1,700 residents remain under a boil water notice.

The incident will cost the county more than $2,000, officials said.

"You look at $2,500 we believe to be the cost of lost. $2,200 for the water and $300 for the treatment of the water," Troinao said.

"It's not like there's contamination in the water. It's just that the potential is there, so we want everybody to be safe and be careful," said Julie Murphy, of the Sheriff's Office.

Authorities told News 6 this sort of vandalism is a felony and that the person responsible could face jail time.

"Depending on their criminal history, they could be looking (at) up to five years in prison associated with the penalty of a felony criminal mischief," Troniao said.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office at 386-313-4911. Callers can also remain anonymous and contact Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 888-277-8477.

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