Gallons of water have escaped from AU’s irrigation system since Sept. 15 after a vehicle crushed a main line valve by Ward Circle.
Grounds Operations Coordinator Stephanie DeStefano said she did not know how many gallons of water were lost from the broken valve over the last week.
The valve supplies water from the main line to the sprinklers behind Ward Building, Kay Spiritual Life Center and Kogod School Business. Water only came out of the broken valve when this area’s sprinklers were scheduled to run, she said.
The repair is not complete because new parts have not arrived, DeStefano said.
AU shut off the main line on Sept. 19 due to the recent rain.
DeStefano said the University chose not to shut down the main line until recently because it would also stop all water from reaching the Quad and damage the grass, she said.
DeStefano said it is common for irrigation pipes to break and sprinkler heads to be ripped off. Pipe breaks can occur when vehicles drive on the main Quad paths, she said.
AU’s irrigation system does have stops to prevent water from being pumped out inadvertently, DeStefano said. The computer that operates the irrigation system can detect if too much water is escaping, such as through a broken pipe, and shut off water to an area.
The computer also has a data collecting system that calculates the amount of water specific sprinkler systems need each day, DeStefano said. The system should also override itself if it is raining or if rain has adequately watered the grass that day.