HUNTERS POINT — A state-of-art spray shower in Gantry Plaza State Park is so frequently broken, parkgoers say they've thought it was shuttered for good.
An interactive spray shower that was installed four years ago in a portion of the greenspace locals know as "Rainbow Park," is closed again for repairs due to a problem with its water treatment system, according to park officials.
But parents say it's no surprise considering the sprinklers have been out of commission more often than not since they first opened.
"It's been like this for a long time," said Brenda Meira, who lives nearby and says her grandson used the spray-pad playground after it first opened in 2012, but that she's rarely seen it working since. "For it to sit there idly is just a shame."
This time around, officials say there's a problem with the system that treats and sanitizes the water used in the sprinklers — an issue workers discovered as they were getting ready to open the spray shower for the season on July 1, according to Leslie Wright, regional director for the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
"We've been working on it mightily," she said. "We hope to get it up and running as soon as possible."
The fancy water feature — which has buttons that kids can push to activate the sprays, as well as an on-duty lifeguard to supervise the fun — was flooded with saltwater during Hurricane Sandy, and was on the fritz again the next summer shortly after being repaired.
"It's just disappointing," said Teressa Huerter, who was at the park recently with her 6-year-old son. "Summertime, when it's hot, kids need water."
Though officials say the spray shower was up and running last summer, it's closed so often that several parents said they thought it had been permanently shuttered.
"I've never been here once when it was open," said one mother.
Wright said one reason for the frequent need for repairs was because the sprinklers are so heavily used.
"It's really popular and the popularity of it gives it that much more work to do," she said. "We take really good care of it, and make sure that its working perfectly before we operate it."
She said that the Parks Department has set up regular water sprinklers on the lawn near the playground while repairs continue.
"We are trying our very best to get it up and running," she said. "We want it open."