Recently, Miami University students have noticed an influx of sprinkler-related issues on campus, ranging from water pelting students who are walking down the middle of the sidewalks, to sprinklers shooting water directly at the walls of residence halls and academic buildings.
Some students are concerned that the poor placement of these sprinklers are causing harm to the campus.
“[The university is] trying to regrow the grass — the problem is they drown the grass with water,” first year Buike Nduaguba said. “Literally every day the place is overly saturated. They don’t give the seeds the time to take in the water. The seeds are even visible on the ground.”
Others have found the sprinklers as a source of entertainment, sparking the creation of a Twitter account called Miami University Sprinklers with the handle “@mu_sprinklers.” The page is dedicated to highlighting the problems with sprinklers campus-wide.
“I made this account because I noticed the growing frustration for many students,” said the administrator of the account, who preferred to remain anonymous. “The sprinkler system at Miami is simply atrocious. Not only is it bad for students trying to walk around campus, [but] it’s a waste of water and is completely against the sustainable goals the university has.”
Gerry Geil, director of grounds maintenance, said the sprinklers are running more because of the lack of rain recently. According to the United States Drought Monitor, Oxford is currently in a moderate drought.
“Usually [the sprinklers] wouldn’t have to run as much, and we are certainly taking steps to get the water under control,” Geil said.
In response to concerns about the sprinklers running during the day, Geil said dirt and debris can often get stuck in the valves, leaving them open and running for longer than usual. Geil said he cleans the valves often and is looking to invest in better software to alert him when problems occur within the system.
Geil also said there have been problems with vandalism. The sprinklers’ caps sometimes come off, causing the geysers that alarm students.
Geil and two other technicians are in control of 40 acres worth of irrigation apparatus. He said that they receive large quantities of work orders about sprinkler issues.
“We’re working hard to getting the adjustments made, with continued investments in infrustructures,” Geil said.