FBI investigating threat to 4 cities' water system

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - The FBI is investigating a threat against water systems in four Midwestern cities, including Wichita, Kan., but a spokeswoman for the agency said none of the threats have been substantiated.

The Wichita Eagle reported Friday that it had obtained an internal city email asking employees to be on the lookout over the next 30 days for anything hooked to a fire hydrant. A second email advised plumbers to call police if they see someone they don't recognize "messing with a fire hydrant or vent pipe."

Citing the need to avoid causing a public panic over unsubstantiated threats, FBI spokeswoman Bridget Patton declined to confirm how many cities' water supplies were threatened or to identify those that were, other than to say they were in the Midwest. But she stressed that investigators had visited the cities' water supply facilities as a precaution.

"Whenever threats of this nature come in, the actions we've taken when made aware of the threat, we've reached out to area law enforcement and notified them of the threat," Patton said.

Van Williams, a spokesman for the city of Wichita, told the newspaper that security in the city's water system is being increased after an unspecified terrorist threat. He added that the city's water is safe to drink.

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