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J.C. officials say they can’t account for 30% of water; they suspect thievery

By The Mercury

Junction City officials are asking for the public’s help in identifying whoever is responsible for the theft of as much as 30 percent of the city’s entire water usage.

In a statement released on the city’s website, officials said they have been unable to account for that percentage of the total volume of water used. The statement did not indicate how long the water has been missing, and did attribute “much” of the missing water to “old inaccurate meters, and leakage,” but said some portion of the problem was believed to be due to people accessing water from public hydrants “for construction or agricultural purposes.”

Officials said they have been told by the state that the city “must bring this issue under control or suffer sanctions,” which were not made public.

Police asked anyone seeing people getting water from city hydrants to call them at 785-762-5912 or Crimestoppers at 785-762-TIPS. They said vehicle descriptions and plate numbers would be especially helpful. They also noted that taxpayers pick up the cost of water that is stolen via higher water usage rates.

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