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Rainbow Park sprinkler breaks down again, parents fault its design


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.

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It’s hard to believe that someone with kids in mind designed this sprinkler. Those sharp concrete edges are just waiting for some nice wet skin to wreak havoc! And chlorinated water blasted directly into kids eyes? How about that limited access (and increased operating cost) due to the fact that we can only use it when there is a lifeguard around! Really? A sprinkler attached to a hose is more useful! There is a beautiful nature infused water play area along the Brooklyn promenade (without a lifeguard) that puts this place to shame! What were these park planners thinking?


Normally, I’m a guy who loves making fun of the precious Concerned Moms in the neighborhood. But on this story, I fail to see examples of “whining” and “crying” or Williamsburg entitlement.

As a city resident, I expect people who work for us to be held accountable and just do their jobs. We sure as hell pay enough in this city. The people quoted in the story were far more polite than I would be, let me tell you that.

You previous commenters should direct your snark at the right targets. So fix the damn sprinkler and let the kids have some fun!


I don’t know who whines and cries more………..the kids or the obnoxious parents! who cares!!!


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