Friday, September 26, 2014

UW Helps To Stop Last Month's Irrigation Leaks Along NE 41st Street Parking Strip

Last month, several residents living near the Center for Urban Horticulture emailed the Laurelhurst Blog Staff about irrigation leaks along a NE  41st Street parking strip between the Center for Urban Horticulture east entrance and Surber Drive.

The Blog Staff contacted several departments at the University of Washington about these ongoing leaks described by one resident as "several curbside busted sprinkler heads that are gushing water" and " river of water running along the curb."

David, the Manager of Horticulture, at the University of Washington Botanic Gardens, said after observing the leak coming from the  seven non-operational valves and broken sprinklers  "The public probably thinks this is UW jurisdiction and wondering why it has not been repaired. It does not reflect a good public image to our organization as it relates to water conservation either."

James, UW Irrigation Maintenance Mechanic Lead, was able to turn down the valves and said that "it looked like they had not been serviced for years.  There were broken sprinklers, plugged sprinklers, malfunctioning sprinklers, and possible broken piping.  I turned down the valves themselves so that no water will run for now.  They should not be run until significant repairs are made."

He conducted a survey of the immediate area to see if he could locate the water source or the controller and said that "Someone is turning it on and off as it does not run all year long.  But it is not the UW.  It is entirely possible that the water and the controls are coming from a neighboring house."
It turns out after more investigation by UW that the particular strip of landscaping belongs to the Laurelhurst Community and that the actual irrigation controller is located in one of the adjacent homes.  
Jeannie, with the Laurelhurst Community Club, did confirm that the city pays for the water and the controls are in the garage of one  the neighbors abutting the planted median who was out of town at the time. In the meantime the UW found the backflow for the irrigation system  and turned it off so that none could run with the backflow turned off. 

David added "The controller may be operating, but the water will not come on.  David even tried knocking on the door of the house with the irrigation controller.  But said they "were  incommunicado."

He added " I hope this will stop the complaints from concerned citizens" with the temporary shut-off work he did.





No comments: