What happens when a citizen calls the City to report that the City is possibly wasting water at a park? One of our irrigation team checks it out. Could be the call was prompted because a repair is needed or could be we are actually testing an irrigation system or we are watering on non-water days when there are fewer people using the park. Either way, our small but capable irrigation team responds as soon as possible.
Parks has five irrigation technicians to respond to all calls about watering taking place in any of our 220 parks. We take the drought very seriously, but malfunctions do occur when you consider 258 irrigation clocks and some 29,000 irrigation valves and 500,000 sprinkler heads that can fail despite preventative maintenance. We try to send a staff member over within two hours of getting the call.
The City does its best to water its parks, medians, and cemeteries according to the City’s watering schedules. However, we also know that some City property’s prime use is nights and weekends, so we may have to flex the days we water. With the exception of high use sports fields, the Parks and Rec department has been reducing water use sometimes by as much as 33 percent per month over last year’s data.
Of course, there are times when sprinkler timers may be set incorrectly or as we have discovered recently, power outages may reset the timer to water on incorrect days or times. Another situation where you may see water running at an unusual time is when repairs and tests of the irrigation system need to be made. If you’re not sure if City property is being watered efficiently, please call 311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will investigate.
Rest assured that the Parks and Recreation Department is committed to do its part to conserve water during this serious drought. Gold is the new green.