Two men charged with tampering with fire hydrants in Brevard

Last Updated: Saturday, January 13, 2018, 12:51 PM EST

Two 20-year-old men were charged with tampering with fire hydrants in Titusville and Mims. 

  • Two men charged with tampering with fire hydrants
  • Bradley Taylor, Brian Shipley accused of opening 21 fire hydrants
  • The tampered fire hydrants were in Titusville and Mims

The Brevard County Sheriff's Office apprehended Bradley Taylor, 20, and Brian Shipley, 20, around 2 a.m. Friday, for allegedly tampering with a hydrant in Mims. 

On Jan. 11, operators at the Mourning Dove Water Production Plant in Titusville were alerted to an increase in the water demand in the system. The demand grew dramatically to over five times the normal amount of water flow for that time of night, the report stated. 

During the investigation, deputies determined that the suspects opened seventeen fire hydrants in Titusville and four fire hydrants in Mims. 

The operators at the plant were able to increase the amount of water into the plant to meet the unusual large demand for water and maintain system pressure. They then contacted the police and fire department to determine the cause and location of the aberrant amount of water use. 

According to the report, due to the prompt action of the plant's personnel, Titusville was able to activate additional resources so that the integrity of its water system was maintained and all water quality and safety standards were met. 

Water utilities must maintain pressure within their water distribution system in order to prevent conditions which could allow contamination to enter the public water system such as backflow by back-pressure or back-siphonage.

Officials say tampering with fire hydrants is a crime that can cause significant impact to both the safety and health of everyone on the water system.

Taylor and Shipley were charged with 'prevent use of equipment extinguishment of fire.'