Santa Fe National Cemetery grass dries out after break in irrigation system

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SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – People visiting the graves of loved ones at the Santa Fe National Cemetery are finding disappointment, and some would say dishonor among the graves.

A mechanical failure in the irrigation system has created an unpleasant sight for those visiting the fallen veterans. Since the issue arose in late June, much of the grass has turned brown and yellow.

Franklin Devontenno and his family traveled all the way from Arlington, Texas to visit their mother’s gravesite. What they found was not the environment they had hoped for to pay their respects.

“When I normally think of a national cemetery, I usually think of rolling green grass all over the place and everything is finely manicured,” said Devontenno.

The cemetery says the part was replaced with a temporary pump that also failed. Now, they’re using a backup water supply from the city of Santa Fe.

It’s keeping the turf alive but not in the best condition.

Veterans like Devontenno hope the adjustments from the cemetery make a difference soon.

“With my fellow veterans laying at peace here, I believe they deserve much better,” he said.

A new temporary pump is now up and running. The cemetery is also using sprinklers and fertilizer to revive the turf.

They expect a full recovery in about three weeks and a new pump to arrive in a few weeks as well.

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