Today’s news:

Luna Park Uses Public Hydrant to Fill Water Ride

Photos expose Coney park illegally using fire hydrant to fill thrill ride

Brooklyn Daily

Workers from Coney Island’s Luna Park were caught on camera apparently stealing water from the city, filling up its log flume ride with H2O from a nearby fire hydrant.

A reporter for this newspaper recently spotted workers from the amusement park — which, like most homeowners and merchants, gets a water bill from the city based on a meter installed on the premises — running a hose from a W. 10th Street johnny pump to its ride, where thrill-seekers float in log-shaped boats and are dropped 40 feet for a big, splash-filled finish.

Representatives of the theme park, who were supplied with a photo of a hose running from the fire hydrant to the ride, did not comment on the apparent theft. Instead, spokeswoman Chloe Gallo said the park “maintains good standing with paying all its water utilities.”

But Fire Department officials say that the illegal use of the fireplug could lead to dangerously low water pressure in the area and would hinder the FDNY’s ability to put out infernos — a hair-raising scenario in light of the fact that the park’s namesake burned to the ground in 1944. Several other Coney Island attractions, including Steeplechase Park, Dreamland, and the Ravenhall Baths also went up in flames over the last century, officials said.

“For a business to open a hydrant and bypass their water meter is stealing, and to put the bottom line above the safety of the people in the neighborhood they serve is morally wrong,” said Al Hagen, the president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association.

A Department of Environmental Preservation spokesman confirmed that the park, which sits on city land, is not allowed to use public fire hydrants.

The spokesman said an inspector was dispatched to check out our discovery, but didn’t catch workers using the hydrant. The inspector did give workers a stern warning about using public water, the spokesman said.

This incarnation of Luna Park opened to great fanfare in 2010. Central Amusements rents the property from the city, which purchased the land from developer Joe Sitt in 2009.

An FDNY spokesman said anyone caught cracking open a city hydrant could receive fines of up to $1,000. Chronic users could receive 30 days in jail.

It’s unclear how many gallons of water Luna Park’s log flume holds. The thrill ride’s drop is 10 feet shorter than the Canobie Lake Park log flume in Salem, New Hampshire, which holds 250,000 gallons of water, according to its website.

But whatever the amount, some People’s Playground watchdogs say the park should pay for its water like everybody else.

“They’re avoiding paying for water that every other business in Coney Island has to pay for,” said Friends of the Boardwalk president Todd Dobrin.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at (718) 260–4507 or e-mail him at wbredderman@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/WillBredderman

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Reader Feedback

Tom from Coney says:
They also steal electricity from the city light posts.
Aug. 7, 2012, 5:12 am
Me from GB says:
I'm Fluming at this. How dare they.
Aug. 7, 2012, 7:42 am
You from Bay Ridge says:
They always been stealing City electricity and water.
Aug. 7, 2012, 7:52 am
Gary from Surf Ave says:
No problem here, go watch a Broadway show.
Aug. 7, 2012, 7:54 am
Bea Mused says:
I see a photo, but where are the alleged photoS (plural)?
Aug. 7, 2012, 10:52 am
Bea Mused from Queens says:
I see a photo, but where are the alleged photoS (plural) as stated?
Aug. 7, 2012, 10:52 am
John from Bayridge says:
I never knew it was considered stealing when the city is your land lord? From my knowledge Luna Park rents/leases its propertity from the city of New York who owns the hydrant. Every apartment or commical restate that I have rented or leased in my life supplied me with water and Gas so i dont see how people can consider this to be stealing. Coney Island is finally getting back on its feet why do we want to bumbard the company that helped get the ball rolling to once again revitalize most famous Amusement area in the world. I appreciate what they have brought back to the community.
Aug. 7, 2012, 11:02 am
Sajh from Brooklyn says:
It depends on what the terms of the lease are between the city and Luna Park. Does the lease state they have free water? Just b/c the city is the Landlord doesnt mean the city is giving away free water. Most likely due to the extensive use of water (this isnt a residential tenant taking a bath here), the city would not give away massive amounts of water. Luna is nickel and diming the city. Plus interference with a hydrant is never a good thing.
Aug. 7, 2012, 12:33 pm
Michael C from New Hampshire says:
John you have a good point about the rent and supplying water. The difference however is the source of the water.

But, At no time do I see a call to city hall. The park may have a standing agreement to fully or partially fill the attraction with water from the hydrant.

Mentioned in the article is Canobie Lake Park. They have special water lines installed to allow the attraction to be refilled quickly. but before they build their own well they often filled up from the hydrants on property with city permission.

Canobie's Log Flume is a much larger attraction then the Portable Reverence Flume that operates at Luna Park. It's a portable attraction made to operate with less water, it only has water in the lower portions. Canobie's has water form beginning to end and a larger retention pond.

According to Reverence the ride manufacturer it requires 144cubib meters of water. That's 38,041 gallons of water.
Aug. 7, 2012, 12:57 pm
John from Bayridge says:
I understand this is not a tenant taking a bath but looking at the whole picture over 4 million visiters come into coney island each year what do you think Luna Park generatse in taxs for the city. A few thousand gallons of water (which if you really want to see waste come to Coney Island when every single street cleaning Sanition truck comes by and washs there trucks and cleans it out all over the street and waste thousands and thousands of gallons doing that, from the same johny pump) but thats ok? So when were talking about interference i think that causes a lot more problems. I seriously doubt with all the city officals that were involved with the redevelopement of Coney Island that last thing we can say is that Luna Park is nickel and Diming the city, lets also not forget that Luna PArk every year provides jobs for 100's of unemployeed people which generates even more taxs and revenue for the City of New York and eases the econmic berden on the city. Thank you Luna dont let this petty stuff get to you keep up that great work you guys are doing over there. Looking forward to the continuing success of Coney Island and Luna Park.
Aug. 7, 2012, 1:37 pm
John from Bayridge says:
Michael C that is some great reseach that you found about the water it takes to run the ride. 38,000 i would have thought more. So what are we talking about most water bills are judged in HCF which = 100 cubic feet=748 gallons (which is both water and sewer usage. So lets do the math here what is that $800 dollars give or take. My water bill is about 60 gallons a day which is .08 hcf and a daily cost of $1.12 daily. 38,000 divided by 60 gallons = 633 times that by 1.12 you get a little over $700. i know these are not actual numbers but i think im pretty close here.
Aug. 7, 2012, 1:54 pm
Michael C from New Hampshire says:
Thanks for the numbers on the water bill. I have a well so haven't had to pay water or sewer.

one correction though. 14 million come to Coney island annually , Luna park is pulling 600,000 of that. the full amount is from all the attraction; Luna park, thrill park, Deno's Wonderwheel, The Aquarium, Ball park (go Cyclones), smaller Coney Island attractions and eateries, The beach front, and the boardwalk itself.

I really need to get back. haven't visited since 2001 and had the pleasure to visit Astroland.
Aug. 7, 2012, 3:53 pm

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