Multiple issues have lead City of Bakersfield, Mo. to lockup several fire hydrants

Published: Nov. 20, 2019 at 9:44 PM CST
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In the little town of Bakersfield, several of the town's fire hydrants are locked up - including two located right outside the high school and elementary school.

The mayor says two problems have led the city to put a padlock on the hydrants

For years, Bakersfield Mayor Tony Johnson says the city has been losing water.

It's not just leaky pipes.

The city's water supervisor has caught people hooking up to hydrants and filling equipment with water.

"He could see people come around and he would ask like what're you doing here getting water out of here," Johnson told KY3.

But that's not the only issue facing the town of 250 people.

Johnson says a representative from the Missouri Rural Water Association inspected the city's hydrants and said there was only one that is usable.

"Any water should be out of this meter right here, Johnson added. We shouldn't get any out of any of the rest of them because there's not enough pressure."

Mayor Johnson tells KY3 that if someone were to use another hydrant in town, they would risk literally sucking the water pipes out of the ground, causing major issues for the city.

"The rest of them, we're going to put locks on them. You can't watch them all the time," Johnson explained.

School officials were never told about the locked hydrants.

They learned Wednesday, when KY3 showed them the padlocks.

Superintendent Dr. Amy Britt says it's concerning.

"Yeah, I did not know that was locked until today. This is something we will definitely look into," Dr. Britt exclaimed.

If there was a fire at the school, water would have to be shuttled a little less than half a mile, no matter what.

"It's just safety and to just try and cut down the loss of our water," Johnson said.

Johnson says the city doesn't have the money or resources to immediately fix the issues.

He says maybe another water tower could be a helpful solution.

"Probably need another one at the other end of town. Something like that might help, but that's a lot of money."

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