BONITA SPRINGS, Florida (NBC) — April Fools’ Day at Gator Country has always been fun until now.
A hoax by “Val and Scott in the Morning” sent people into a panic, concerned over Lee County’s water quality.
“This messes with the big three: food, water and shelter. You can’t mess with those and we did,” said the station’s general manager, Tony Renda.
Renda heard the prank as he pulled into the Bonita Springs station around 8:30 this morning.
“Frustration and surprise. For years they’ve put on great radio and, every year, April Fools’ Day is something fun. This year was a little bit different,” Renda said.
Val and Scott were joking that “dihydrogen monoxide” was coming out of Lee County residents’ taps.
That’s another name for water, but many who didn’t know that thought it may be unsafe to drink. That led to several calls at Lee County Utilities.
“They were asking them about the water quality, and we wanted to reassure them that the water was safe to drink,” said Patty DiPiero of Lee County Utilities.
Lee County Utilities immediately called Gator Country to find out if they’d been fooled themselves.
“So we went ahead and contacted the general manager and to get them to stop reporting that and to let them know that the water was safe to drink,” DiPiero said.
The utilities department then issued a press release, letting the public know they are not having any issues with the water supply and the water is safe to use.
Gator Country has spent the day getting that message out, and apologizing through their other hosts.
As for Val and Scott, they’ve been suspended indefinitely.