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Woman found swimming in 350,000-gallon tank of city’s drinking water

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A woman broke into a 70-foot high water tank filled with 350,000 gallons of liquid and decided to go for a swim in it.

The bizarre incident took place in the City of Athens, Alabama, US, on Thursday, August 5.

Police rushed to the scene after former officer Doug Duren reported seeing the woman break into a fence barrier and climb a ladder to the top of the tank, 5KALB reports.

The tank had reportedly recently been repainted – although the hatch was not closed after this took place.

The hatch did close on the woman after she went inside the tank, however, the report adds.

Firefighters climbed the tank and managed to convince the woman swimming inside it to come out and climb back down.

They were able to get her out with a harness and helped her down the ladder to safety.

In a statement, the City of Athens public office wrote: "Athens firefighters rescued a woman tonight who was swimming inside a 70-foot high water tank filled with 350,000 gallons of water.

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"The woman broke into a fence barrier and climbed the ladder to the top of the tank on Elm Street. A retired Athens Police Officer, Doug Duren, who lives nearby, saw her and contacted authorities.

"Police, firefighters and Water Deptartment personnel responded. Firefighters Hunter Campbell and Coty Collins climbed the tank and found her swimming inside and convinced her to come to them.

They secured her with a harness, got her over the edge and walked down the ladder with her."

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Police Chief Floyd Johnson said officers are carrying her for a mental evaluation.

He said: "We appreciate the neighbors and Mr Duren who contacted authorities because we could have had a very different outcome."

Water/Wastewater Department Manager Jimmy Junkin said personnel would drain the tank and remove any debris and sanitize it.

Mr Junkin said Athens has clean water in other tanks, and he does not expect any disruption in service.

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