By Emily Turner

NOVATO (KPIX 5) – Authorities are draining water from a public tank in Novato after vandals breached a chain link fence and two locks last weekend.

An intruder alarm attached to the North Marin Water District tank in a remote area of northwest Novato went off prior to 6 p.m. Friday, alerting officials that something was amiss, Lt. Steve De La O of the Marin County Sheriff’s Office said.

Tucked into Marin’s golden hills is a rusty green water tank that’s almost as hard to get to as it is to spot.

There was no evidence of contamination, but the 290,000 gallons of water contained in the tank were being drained Monday. The water will replaced to ensure public safety, water district officials have said.

“We could tell the locks had been broken, the fence had been cut open and that someone had gone up to the top where the access hatch is to the water,” said Drew McIntyre, the general manager of the North Marin Water District.

While water tests came back clear, out of an abundance of caution, water district officials swapped customers to a different tank, with the contents of the breached tank being drained onto the ground.

Authorities have no idea who breached the tank or why, but the interlopers were gone within 20 minutes of triggering the alarm at the top hatch.

“I just couldn’t believe that someone would do that,” said Wildhorse Valley resident Patty Proaps. “That’s our source of drinking water. We were very upset.”

This is the second Bay Area water tank to be breached in just over a month. A tank in South San Francisco was targeted with similar vandalism.

Anyone with information about the Novato water tank vandalism is asked to call the Marin County Sheriff’s Office.

  1. Apparently we need 24-hour security, as in people living there who never leave the tanks unattended, from now on. We can’t afford to waste hundreds of thousands of gallons of water when these things happen, so they cannot continue to happen. I remember at least one reservoir that had to be drained not that long ago. We need armed caretakers.

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