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More than 1.5K Ohio State students affected by water main break near Lincoln Tower

Crew members work to repair a water main break Jan. 22. Water services were shut off in Lincoln and Morrill Towers, the Drake Performance and Event Center and the Women's Field House for more than 5 hours.<br />Credit: Daniel Bendtsen / Senior Lantern reporter

Crew members work to repair a water main break Jan. 22. Water services were shut off in Lincoln and Morrill Towers, the Drake Performance and Event Center and the Women’s Field House for more than 5 hours.
Credit: Daniel Bendtsen / Senior Lantern reporter

A water main break Wednesday left four West Campus buildings without water services for more than five hours.

A “slow water leak” was discovered in the south Lincoln parking lot at approximately 10 a.m. Wednesday, said Student Life spokesman Dave Isaacs.

Maintenance crews identified the source of the leak as a break in a water main. They initially hoped to be able to fix the main without interrupting water service but determined at approximately 4:30 p.m. that it would be necessary to shut off the water to Lincoln Tower, Morrill Tower and the Drake Performance and Event Center, Isaacs said.

Administration and Planning spokeswoman Lindsay Komlanc said Wednesday in an email water service to the Women’s Field House was also stopped.

At 11 p.m., crews on the scene confirmed that the water services had been restored to all four buildings.

As of 7 p.m., the cause of the water main break was undetermined, Isaacs said in an email.

About 450 residents live in Lincoln, while more than 1,100 live in Morrill, Isaacs said. People can live on 20 floors of Morrill and nine floors in Lincoln, according to the University Housing website.

Ohio State brought heated portable toilets and sinks to the scene and supplied hall desks with bottled water to Lincoln and Morrill residents. Isaacs advised students needing to shower go to the RPAC, roughly half a mile away, up until midnight.

Temperatures fell as low as minus 2 degrees Wednesday, with a maximum temperature of 10 degrees. The forecast predicted temperatures of about 7 degrees Wednesday night, according to Weather Underground.

Some students saw the issues as a major inconvenience before the water was restored.

“I’ve had to stop drinking water so that I wouldn’t have to go to the bathroom,” said Samantha Saraceni, a first-year in exploration, before 9 p.m. “I’m going to wait until the morning so I don’t have to shower at the gym … because I don’t want to take all my stuff there and walk all the way back in the freezing cold.”

Madison Kessler, a first-year in dance, lives in Lincoln Tower and expressed dismay after hearing the news Wednesday afternoon.

“I’m in so much shock right now. If I can’t shower or drink water, it’s a huge inconvenience,” she said.

Candace Danby, a first-year in communication who lives in Morrill Tower, shared similar sentiments.

“If you have to go to the bathroom, it’s really inconvenient because you have to go outside in the -4 degree windchill. And a lot of my roommates shower at night, so now they have to go to the RPAC,” she said.

Others, though, weren’t so upset about the halted water flow.

“I like it (the lack of running water) because this distilled water that they gave us is better than what’s flowing from the water fountain with all the carbon in it,” said Jason Wan, a first-year in finance.

Recently, the Columbus water has smelled and tasted differently than usual. The odor is a result of algal blooms in Columbus’ Hoover Reservoir. In order to treat the water’s taste and odor, the city has been treating the water with five times the usual amount of carbon normally used, according to the Department of Public Utilities website.

Water-related issues also affected Nosker House Wednesday morning. A maintenance worker on the scene, who declined to be named, said he believed slow water flow caused a pipe to freeze and subsequently burst.

Isaacs was unable to provide further information about the Nosker House incident Wednesday evening and said it still had not been determined whether the water main break south of Lincoln Tower was also the result of cold weather.

Two weeks ago, Ohio State called off classes Jan. 6 and 7 because of extreme weather conditions as temperatures fell to minus 7, according to Weather Underground.

There were several water-related issues around campus after the temperatures fell that week, including a water main break near Macquigg Laboratory, leading to some roads covered with ice being closed, and a burst pipe in Pomerene Hall.


Madison Curtis contributed to this article.

One comment

  1. point of this article is?….

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