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Dry times won’t hurt Jube

Saturday, 6th December, 2014

Jubilee Oval caretaker Peter Johnston reckons he can keep the field green in the face of water restrictions, due to be implemented Monday. PICTURE: Ethan James Jubilee Oval caretaker Peter Johnston reckons he can keep the field green in the face of water restrictions, due to be implemented Monday. PICTURE: Ethan James

By Ethan James

Water restrictions will hit Broken Hill on Monday but Jubilee Oval caretaker Peter Johnston believes it won’t affect the quality of the ground. 

Level One restrictions prohibit the use of domestic and public sprinklers, automated systems and fixed or hand-held hoses for irrigation of gardens and lawns between 10am and 7pm.

Johnston said it would have little impact on his work because most of the watering is done in the middle of the night. The Jubilee Oval’s sprinklers are timed to come on at 1am.

“We do have a ring main around the cricket wicket which we do use for a few brown spots, so we won’t be able to do that during the day,” he said. 

“And we spray the wicket down on a Saturday morning before the game.

“But we’d be able to do that before 10 in the morning, so there wouldn’t be any issues there.”

Johnston also gave his opinion about water management, saying that some form of restrictions should be permanent in Broken Hill.

“It happens all around the country, so I don’t understand why it doesn’t happen here.

“When I see people watering in the heat of the day it just doesn’t make any sense to me. You lose so much from evaporation which makes it a bit counterproductive.”

Despite the recent hot and dry conditions, Johnston said the oval’s turf was in the best shape he’d seen it in years.  

“It’s recovered really well since the football season.

“We’ll fertilise it one more time again next year before the AFL.

“The biggest issue for the ground is traffic during the AFL season but there’s no easy solution with there with so many teams using it for training and games.”

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