University sends several notices of water main break

The Daily News

The university used its notification system several times throughout Wednesday to keep students informed about a water main break that left four buildings without running water.

Students voiced opinions on Twitter about the amount of alerts they received for the water main break versus the number with the alleged gunman on campus. 

The water main break lasted about six hours versus the less than two hours of the other incident, making it difficult to compare given the time frames of the two different situations, Tony Proudfoot, associate vice president for marketing and communications said. 

“Anytime we have any kind of incident where we use the notification system, we take feedback from the campus community on how we can communicate more effectively,” Proudfoot said. “We did get feedback that more frequent updates would be helpful. Those are the kinds of information that we include to consistently refine our process.”

Water service was restored about 2 p.m. to the Administration Building, Lucina Hall, West Quadrangle Building and Ball Gym, according to texts and emails sent by the university. 

The break was discovered shortly after 8 a.m. in front of the east doors of Ball Gym, media relations manager Vic Caleca said.

Six emergency notification text messages and five emails were sent to update students on the progress of fixing the pipe.

A clamp was put on the broken pipeline to get it back up and running, said Kevin Kenyon, associate vice president of facilities. 

Classes continued and offices remained open in the affected buildings throughout Wednesday. Faculty with classes as well as supervisors with staff in the buildings were expected to be flexible in allowing brief delays to class and longer breaks for staff, according to the Ball State website. Employees with special accommodations were urged to work with their supervisors.

The restrooms and drinking fountains in these buildings were unusable until the problem was fixed. This posed a problem for dance students who have all their classes in Ball Gym, dance major Heather Closson said.

“It’s just kind of frustrating to know we still had classes and still had to go do our thing with no water and no way to use the restroom, especially when Ball Gym is kind of our home since we are in there for extended periods of time,” Closson, a senior, said. “Granted, there’s vending machines downstairs, but you don’t always have money on you to go buy water.”

A giant hole was dug outside of Ball Gym to fix the problem, resulting in muddy sidewalks for students on their walk to class. 

A problem like a water break happens from time to time on campus, Kenyon said.

“I think in the last few years we’ve replaced a lot of piping so it’s not as common as it used to be but it still happens,” he said. “It seems it’s been a few years since we’ve had a major water line break that shut down service to buildings.”

However, Kenyon said problems with broken pipes are preventable.

“When they [pipelines] get to be a certain age, they are scheduled for replacement,” Kenyon said. “It’s just a matter of having time and money to do it. It can be prevented if you replace piping regularly.”


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