San Francisco Wants End to Fire Hydrant Painting

San Francisco officials say guerrilla artists who are painting fire hydrants without city permission are creating public safety hazards and costing taxpayers thousands of dollars.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that 35 to 40 fire hydrants have been painted in silver, neon-green and other colors in recent months.

Officials say the city has spent about $140,000 to repair the hydrants, but the bigger concern is public safety.

Each hydrant has identification numbers and tags that provide information about water pressure, the water main the hydrant is connected to, and the distance to a shutoff valve.

Officials say when the fire hydrants are spray-painted, firefighters can't immediately get the information they need to extinguish a blaze.

Supervisor Scott Wiener says he supports public art, but whoever is painting the hydrants needs to stop.

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