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Water providers in Lauderdale County are working hard to make they can meet water needs, but said cold weather is giving them a hard time.
West Lauderdale Water Authority officials are asking their 5,000 customers to conserve water, and Chisholm Heights Water Authority is asking another 1,500 customers to conserve. Chisholm Heights uses West Lauderdale Water Authority as a backup.
Water line breaks and vandals opening up fire hydrants in recent days have caused tanks to run low, officials said Thursday. The Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office is investigating the opened hydrants.
"Once they turn the water on it runs all night and it depletes the water availability to the rest of the community," said Lauderdale County Investigator, Lt. Brad Potts. "We believe it's children, vandals kids playing a prank."
Officials said the vandals have hit about five fire hydrants in the West Lauderdale area. For many in the community it's anything but funny.
"They are thinking of themselves and thinking it could be a good laugh," said West Lauderdale resident, Samantha Crider. "They don't think there is everybody else in this community it could hurt."
The West Lauderdale Water Authority has four tanks. Two are at 69 percent capacity. One is at 40 percent and the fourth is at 47 percent, officials said.
Chisholm Heights officials said they are pumping in water from Florence, but tank reserves are below 50 percent due to pipes bursting.
Despite lower levels, officials still are encouraging customers to let faucets drip in order to prevent more line breakages.