Property owners can be held liable if water
BEND, Ore. The rhythmic purr of sprinklers watering
lawns and agricultural fields is one of the many signals that
spring has arrived in Oregon. Yet, while daytime temperatures
feel ripe for sunbathing, overnight temperatures continue
to dip below freezing.
This mix of cold temperatures and standing irrigation runoff
on roadways is the recipe for slippery conditions for late
night and early morning drivers.
Even when weather has been dry, icy patches can surprise
motorists in shady areas and where water from agricultural
and urban over-irrigation has collected.
"Cars drive through puddles and spray water across the
roadway. With our current overnight temperatures, that water
freezes into sheets of ice and creates treacherous driving
conditions for folks expecting dry pavement," said Pat
Creedican, Bend District manager with the Oregon Department
"We are also seeing over-watering occurring near commercial
and residential properties right in town," Creedican
added. "Drivers are not expecting ice because the weather
has been so nice, so they're taken by surprise when they hit
an icy patch caused by a sprinkler system."
Over watering can be hazardous to daytime drivers as well.
Standing water on roadways can cause motorists to hydroplane
and momentarily loose control of their vehicles.
ODOT reminds all irrigation users to check their systems
to ensure that they are not spraying water onto the road or
over-watering and flooding roadways. It is illegal to place
water on highway rights-of way without written permission.
Property owners can be held liable in the event of an accident
caused by water on the roadway.