The following Letter to the Editor appeared in the May 2 issue of The Desert Sun.
An April 27th story titled “Downtown Palm Springs gets a make under,” states “leaks could cause more costly of an aesthetic problem-sinkholes or the sidewalk to buckle.”
Although irrigation system leaks may cause these issues in other parts of the country, specifically Florida, this outcome is unlikely in Palm Springs. The geology here consists of an alluvial fan, which was formed by the erosion from surrounding mountains. A depression in the ground’s surface, or sinkhole, generally occurs in limestone regions. Sandy basins like ours have little to no limestone beneath the surface. A small irrigation leak may cause minute cracks in concrete, but it’s highly unlikely it could cause a sinkhole. Earthquakes or tree root intrusion can cause sidewalks to buckle in this region.
A business owner angrily states “Sunday was Earth Day and this is how the city treats it-by ripping out plants.” Landscaping, no matter how mature or beautiful, can be replaced. On the other hand, water is not an unlimited resource.
I applaud the city for taking necessary proactive steps to address the leaking system. Water is money. A 1/8 inch hole in a metal pipe can leak 2,500 gallons of water in just 24 hours.
-Jimmy Carter, Senior Director of Corp. Field Services at American Leak Detection