Vandals open fire hydrants, depleting Cokato water supply

File photo (Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle / Getty Images)

An act of vandalism left Cokato's municipal water supply severely depleted late Saturday night, leaving residents with minimal water pressure and creating a potential safety hazard.

The Cokato Fire Department was called out between 11:30 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 a.m. Sunday to deal with multiple fire hydrants that had been opened and left running throughout the city, draining over one million gallons of water from the city's reserves.

The vandalism occurred while firefighters were already working a serious motor vehicle accident, straining their resources further.

"This is no joke, this is a serious matter and if juveniles are involved they need to be held responsible for this," the Cokato Fire Department posted on Facebook this week. "This is depleting our water supply in town, which can be a major threat if a fire would occur. This has happened in the past but this time it wasted over ONE MILLION+ GALLONS WATER."

The Cokato Fire Department and Public Works Department worked to quickly shut off the hydrants and deal with any damage caused by the flooding.

The vandalism is currently under investigation. Deputies are urging anyone with information to contact the Wright County Sheriff’s Office at 763-682-1162.