Police: Wichita Water Safe To Drink

By: Lily Wu and Phil White Email
By: Lily Wu and Phil White Email
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Friday, October 18, 2013

The Wichita Police Department issued a media advisory this morning to assure people that the water is safe to drink in Wichita.

An FBI spokesperson confirmed to KAKE News that they are aware of a threat to Wichita's water supply. They said there is no information to substantiate this threat.

The City of Wichita received information from the FBI regarding the City’s water system.

According to e-mails sent to some City of Wichita employees and obtained by KAKE News, Wichita is one of four cities mentioned in threats related to the water distribution systems.

An e-mail sent to employees by Water Distribution Division Manager Elizabeth Owens just before 10 a.m.. Friday said, "A specific threat has been made that mentions four cities, one of which is Wichita, related to the water distribution systems. Please tell your employees to be extra vigilant over the next 30 days about anything they see hooked up to a fire hydrant. If it does not look right, they should call 911, then let you or me know."

Billie Vines, the Cross Connection Manager for the water department, sent an e-mail to area plumbers about an hour later urging them to keep an eye out for anything suspicious.

"If you see someone messing with a fire hydrant or vent pipe who is not a Public Works or Fire Dept. employee and does not have the hot pink "2013 bulkwater" permit sticker on the back of their water tank, please try to get a picture, tag #, company name and call me."

The FBI stressed the threats are unsubstantiated and Wichita Police assured the public there is currently nothing wrong with the city's water supply.

"The water is safe to drink and the public will be notified immediately if that changes," wrote Lt. Doug Nolte, in an email.

In the last two days, Nolte said that people have been passing information about a threat on social media websites. Some viewers have also received similar information through texts and emails.

There is an ongoing FBI investigation and the City has implemented security measures, which cannot be discussed.

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