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Medford to alter ill-timed watering

On a recent 100-degree day, I walked through a city of Medford-owned parking lot at noon and noticed the sprinkler system was watering plants. As people who maintain these plants undoubtedly know, watering in the middle of the day on a hot day is about as wasteful as it gets. What gives? Why doesn't the city water when it's cool out?

— Water worrier

You are indeed vigilant, water worrier, for noticing that inefficiency. Indeed, you are correct to guess that city staff knows that watering in the middle of a 100-degree day wastes water. Although you didn't mention in which parking lot you observed noontime watering, the city just recently took over parking lots in the city that were previously maintained by the Medford Urban Renewal Agency.

"Some of the timers are broken so they are manually run, and they have to water during the time when the contractors are available," said Errin Constantine, a city executive support specialist. "We are working with the contractor to have those repaired."

A time frame for repairing the timers has not yet been determined, Constantine said. But once that's accomplished, the city will be able to set watering for night and/or early morning. Perhaps your question will speed up the process.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.