July 23, 2013 By Christian Murray
Many Long Island City parents were excited last week when the sprinkler system at Gantry Plaza State Park was finally repaired and their children could finally run under the water keep cool.
But that initial joy that the “Rainbow Park” sprinkler provided was short lived. The sprinkler broke after 2 ½ days of operation.
“The sprinkler was damaged after Superstorm Sandy and it required a big stink for it to even come on last week,” said Kris Schrey, the head of the Long Island City Parents Group. “Now we are battling for it to be repaired yet again.”
The system’s design is the source of the problem. The designers, in a quest to be environmentally conscious, shied away from a regular system where the water would have run off into East River.
Instead they adopted a system that recycles the existing water through a filter (with chlorine), much like a swimming pool. “Unfortunately, this is an expensive, fragile and error prone system,” Schrey said.
The system also requires two employees to operate it. One employee has to monitor the chlorine levels every hour, while the other handles health & safety issues.
A source at the Parks Department said that they are reaching out to the contractor that installed the system to come back and repair it. However, it requires specialized equipment and the contractor is not based out of New York City.
Nevertheless, the source said that it should be repaired by the weekend.