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The new, chattier D.C. Water public relations operation has issued a pre-emptive warning that even though it’s hot outside—so hot—it’s a bad idea to open fire hydrants and let the life-giving water gush out.

“Turning on hydrants without the proper tools can damage the hydrant, its nozzle, and even the underground pipes in the water distribution system,” said DC Water General Manager George S. Hawkins. “There’s a significant danger especially to children, who can be knocked over from the force of the water or endangered from traffic when their water play is in the street.”

Further, the high volume of water on roadways can wreak havoc with traffic. Open hydrants can also cause a drop in water pressure, affecting homes and businesses on the street, and impeding firefighting.

Have people already started doing this? No, says spokeswoman Pamela Mooring. “In the past we have had a problem during heatwaves with residents opening the hydrants and pressure dropping in the vicinity,” she told Housing Complex. “During this heatwave, District agencies collaborated to ensure that the message gets out there before we have a problem.”

Photo from flickr user Wesley Yendrys.