STUDIO CITY (CBSLA.com) — Days after cellphone video surfaced showing sprinklers watering a hillside along a busy thoroughfare in the rain, new developments have emerged.
Patrick Chandler, a spokesman for the California Department of Transportation, said Monday that the land and sprinklers adjacent to the 101 Freeway at the location in question don’t belong to Caltrans but rather Universal.
The email came days after Chandler had spoken with KCAL9’s Dave Bryan about the situation and why sprinklers would be on in the rain.
“In a place like, you said, Universal City along the 101, I’m not sure if that’s a smart meter or if that was on a timer,” he said Friday.
Chandler also told Bryan there are some circumstances in which the sprinklers would stay on even in the rain.
“There’s a number of reasons why we have to water our vegetation in Los Angeles,” he said.
But on Monday, Caltrans contacted Bryan.
The agency said its field maintenance workers and the supervisor who oversees the area said they realized the fence line beside the freeway is the boundary between Caltrans and Universal property. According to Caltrans, the sprinklers are on Universal’s side.
Nonetheless, as Bryan reports, Caltrans knows it has a problem as an emergency $28 million expenditure was recently approved to install smart sprinklers which can be set to automatically shut off when it’s raining.
Meanwhile, NBCUniversal issued a statement which makes no direct reference to the freeway sprinklers.
The statement said:
“NBCUniversal has a long history of being an environmentally conscious organization … Now, more than ever, we are focused on existing and new water conservation measures, which includes using recycled water across the property for land irrigation, landscaping with drought tolerant plants, and transitioning to all low flow and waterless facilities.”
As Bryan reiterates, the company has neither confirmed nor denied Caltrans’ statement that the property next to the freeway, where the sprinklers were on, is owned by Universal.