Thursday, June 24, 2010
It's uncomfortably hot and humid right now in NYC. It's the type of hot that makes you walk at a slow pace with your arms held slightly away from your body in fear of breaking a clothes drenching sweat.
I arrived home the other day to find a block party had broken out on my street and all of the neighborhood kids were cooling off in the fully open fire hydrant. There were gallons of water flooding down the street as far as 6 blocks away.
Everyone was having a great time. Music was blasting, kids were laughing, and adults were lazily conversing in the shade. I can't default them for enjoying a miserably hot afternoon.
I was however horrified at the 12ft high rupture of water freely spewing from the hydrant at 1000 gallons of water/min (I did the research). And I know for a fact that it was open for at least 12 hrs because it didn't get shut off until I called 311 to report it at 11pm. That's 720,000 gallons of wasted water! That day, I saw at least 6 other hydrants open in Brooklyn alone bringing my neighborhood total to at LEAST 4,320,000 gallons of wasted water.
This is one of the most disturbing things that I have ever witnessed. It amazes me that people can be so disrespectful towards nature. The National Geographic website has some great interactive features and quizzes on water. Get informed and you'll be less likely to make wasteful choices. http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater
If you see an open hydrant in NYC, give 311 a call. You're probably going to be on hold for 20 min but think of all the gallons of water you'll be saving.
Stay cool! (just don't open a hydrant)
Joanie Johnson, HC