Water main breaks, no school

IUS Horizon

Water15 EditedWEBA water main break behind Hillside Hall on Sunday, Sept. 13, gave students a day off from classes and prompted a four-day boil water advisory for IU Southeast.

The water main pipe, which is 40 years old, broke sometime Sunday night.

“We started getting calls from students around 11:30 p.m. stating there was low water pressure,” Charles Edelen, IUS Police chief, said.

The leak was spotted because water bubbled up through the ground behind Hillside Hall. The water was heading toward Orchard Lodge on the south end of campus.

Edelen said luckily the drainage system diverted the water to both sides of the lodge, sending the water flow into the lodge parking lot.

No water damage occurred to the lodge or cars.

Dana Wavle, vice chancellor for Administration and Finance, said the Physical Plant responded quickly to the incident and had the water turned off in the Hillside area by 12:30 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 14.

“Cost for repairs will be under $5,000 which is good,” Wavle said.

Wavle made the decision to close campus on Monday, Sept. 14, for repairs to the water main pipe and to minimize the safety risk to students and staff.

University Police sent notifications out to students early Monday morning via phone, text and email informing them of the campus closing.

The University Center building and Orchard Lodge went without water until Monday afternoon when repairs were completed by contractor Clark Nickles, Inc.

Water was restored to all campus buildings and classes resumed on Tuesday, Sept. 15.

Water23- EditedWEBHowever, a boil water advisory was issued because of potential contaminants.

Although water could be used for washing hands, the advisory warned students not to consume it unless boiled for at least two minutes.

Signs were posted on water fountains and bathrooms informing students of the advisory.

“The water could have contaminants such as E. coli but is unlikely,” Jim Wolfe, director of Physical Plant, said.

Wolfe had water samples tested on Tuesday, Sept. 15, and Wednesday, Sept. 16, after the repairs to the water main. Both samples came back clear of contaminants from a lab in Clarksville. The boil water advisory was rescinded Thursday, Sept. 17.

Dining Services was thrilled that the boil water advisory had been canceled.

“I boiled my hand three times,” Ernie Gionis, director of Dining and Conference Services, said.

Gionis said he used a big kettle in the kitchen boiling seven to eight gallons at a time.

“It was a lot of extra work,” Gionis said.

Staff Writer