Sprinklers go crazy, run for days

A lot of water ran down the drain as numerous sprinklers located in the parking lot of a major grocery store stayed on for days before finally being shut off on Thursday.

More than two dozen sprinklers outside Saar’s Market Place started spraying water Saturday and continued doing so Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning.

Two small rivers of water ran down the parking lot, eventually flowing into drains just outside Kmart.

Saar’s does not own the parking lot, it leases the building from a property management company.

“I’ve made several calls,” about the sprinklers, said Saars manager Dan Goode on Thursday morning. He called the property management company on Saturday, which responded on Sunday. The woman he spoke to told him the problem would be taken care of, but the sprinklers kept on spraying. The woman did not immediately return a call from the News-Times.

The city of Oak Harbor knew nothing about the problem until a resident, Kathy Lester, called Thursday morning. “I’m just a shopper,” Lester said. “But it’s frustrating that nobody was doing anything.”

Once notified, the city acted quickly by shutting down the sprinkler system in a matter of minutes. “Nobody called the city at all,” said Rhonda Haines, water service coordinator. “We’ve shut the whole irrigation system down.”

Exactly why the system kept running was not immediately known. Haines said one of the sprinkler heads was broken off and perhaps it affected the timer.

Haines urges anyone who sees a possible water problem to call the city immediately. “We live on an island and our resources are precious,” she said. She’s also anxious to give water conservation tips to businesses as the dry season begins. Call 279-4500.

The loss of water at Saar’s will likely be expensive, and several businesses will feel the bite. “Everybody in the complex pays a percentage,” said Goode.

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