An estimated 50 to 100 gallons of an antifreeze-type substance called Glycol leaked from six large containers that were punctured sometime overnight Monday outside Bowman Field, according to city police.
The 27 square-foot containers belong to the North Carolina-based company, Rink Specialists, which has the contract to install and dismantle the ice rink, called Airmen Pond, where the Williamsport Outlaws, the city's first professional hockey team, will play their home games.
Despite the vandalism, the firm still will have the field ready for use when open public skating begins Tuesday, Rich Cubin, a vice president for Rink Specialists, assured a reporter at Bowman Field on Tuesday afternoon.
The Outlaws season home opener is scheduled Oct. 24 against the Dayton Demonz of Dayton, Ohio.
Police are trying to determine who was responsible for the vandalism, which will cost the company under $2,000, Cubin said.
"It looked like someone used a screwdriver or an ice pick to puncture holes in the containers," Cubin said.
The containers can each hold up to 300 gallons of Glycol, a substance that the company pumps through tubing to freeze the 85 by 200-foot field, Cubin explained. However, he believes no more than 100 gallons of the fluid leaked out before the vandalism was discovered and measures quickly were taken to seal the leaks with duct tape, he added.
The damaged containers, along with six other containers of Glycol, were on a paved access road on the west side of Bowman Field, which is located in the 1700 block of West Fourth Street.
Cubin said he believed the leaked Glycol caused very little, if any, environmental damage, however a representative of the state Department of Environmental Protection paid a visit to the field late Tuesday afternoon.
Within hours after the vandalism, additional containers of Glycol were delivered to the field to replace the damaged ones, Cubin said. An estimated 3,000 gallons of glycol is needed to freeze the outdoor rink, he said.
Police Chief Gregory Foresman said investigators did not know the motive behind the vandalism.
"We know there is a lot of animosity from some individuals who do not care about the Outlaws. There are a number of people who aren't happy with them playing at the field. At the same time, this could be a random senseless act. We can't rule out that someone may have caused this damage for no apparent reason," Foresman said.
Anyone with any information about the vandalism is asked to call city police, Foresman said.