By Oliver Blanco
A three and a quarter inch pipeline burst and flooded the E7 building basement, during spring break last Friday at approximately 1 p.m.
While off duty, a member of the facilities department, whose name is being withheld, discovered the flood last Sunday at noon. “It was fate. He (the Facilities Department member) had just come in on a Sunday afternoon to use the computer lab down in the basement, when he discovered the flood,” said Facilities Department member Al Mah.
After being informed of the incident, Plant Facilities immediately took action. They shut down the electrical power to avoid any risk of electrical charges caused by the water. The pipeline was shut down allowing Plant Facilities to clean and investigate any damage that might have occurred during the flood.
According to Mah, the pipes were connected improperly when the building was constructed. A six-inch curve that prevents water from escaping into the photography department, overfilled, flooding the room containing pipelines in around 30 minutes. The water leaked from this room, entered the hallway of the basement’s west wing and reached the computer lab, photography studio, elevator shaft and electrical room.
Due to a slight elevation in the east wing’s structure, the flood did not reach the dark room or black and white and color printing rooms, which contain harmful chemicals. The computer lab did not face any electrical damage. Although, printer paper and cardboard boxes containing printing supplies were ruined, leaving the photography department with $1,000 worth of damage.
The photography studio’s cove, which is used for hosting photography shoots, was damaged as well. Water also entered the elevator shaft, flooding it with eight feet of water. The oils from the elevators contaminated the flooded water making it potentially hazardous.
Detrimental damages to the building were avoided, since the flood had been detected at an earlier time. The flood had leaked into the electrical room and the height of the water was two inches away from out-circuiting. The school data base which is also located in the basement, was not reached, but was one foot away from coming in contact with the flood.
Plant Facilities cleaned up the remaining debris in the basement last Sunday and Monday. Students were able to use the Photography Department’s facilities upon arrival last Tuesday. The elevators had been temporarily shut down due to a maintenance check.