Wichita, Kansas: FBI Investigating Threats to Water Systems

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
October 18, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

Water systems are safe in Wichita, Kansas after the FBI received threats about contamination.

The city said in a statement on Friday that it had received information from the FBI and tested the water, which is safe to drink at the moment.

The city will update the public about any changes.

Bridget Patton, a spokeswoman for the FBI, told KWCH that the agency was made aware of a threat to the water supply system, and notified local agencies.

The FBI hasn’t yet been able to substantiate the threat, she said.

“Whenever a threat like this comes in, it’s something we take very seriously,” Patton told the Wichita Eagle.

The treats were discussed in two internal emails that the Eagle obtained.

“A specific threat has been made that mentions four cities, one of which is Wichita, related to the water distribution systems,” Elizabeth Owens, city water distribution manager, wrote in one. “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.”

Any plumbers or others who 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” should alert police or the city, and take a picture of the person, said Billie Vines, another city water manager.




Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.