Liberty Station busted for wasting water

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POINT LOMA, Calif. – Watering lawns while it rains in San Diego is illegal, yet some people living at Liberty Station in Point Loma said their community irrigation system was on and caused areas to flood during the last storm.

A FOX5 staffer captured video of the rainwater flooding lawns while the sprinkler system continued to flow on Thursday.

“This is just egregious waste,” said Megan Baehrens with San Diego Coastkeeper, a water quality watchdog group. “What’s worse is this is not uncommon."

Watering lawns during and up to 48 hours after it rains is a water use violation.

Liberty Station Community Association admitted to wasting water and pointed to a glitch in their sensor-automated sprinkler system, which they had installed to help reduce their water use.

“The technology had programmed the controllers for zero irrigation; however, something defaulted on some of the controllers,” said Melinda Young, a manager who oversees irrigation at the multi-use development.

The sprinklers have been turned off since the incident and will be operated manually until they find out what went wrong, said Young.

City officials are now looking into the case. The Liberty Station Association could face fines of up to a $1,000 for the water use violation.

Officials are asking the general public to check their automated sprinkler systems before the next round of storms, which could come as early as Friday.

“There are quite a few folks out there that are not paying enough attention,” said Public Utilities Director Halla Razak.

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