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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Pipe burst slows Union business

    Pipe burst slows Union business

    Water sources in the Student Union Memorial Center ran dry yesterday morning for about two hours after one of the pipes in the maintenance tunnels on the south side of the building burst.

    The pipe burst at around 10:30 a.m., flooding one of the underground tunnels and forcing facilities management to shut off all water to the student union in order to do repairs, said Chris Kopach, the associate director of facilities management.

    “”I don’t have an exact cause, but it’s usually (because the pipe) is old,”” he said. “”We have floods on campus on pretty much a weekly basis.””

    Facilities management routinely deals with leaks, unattended labs and malfunctioning equipment, but leaks that require shutting off water do not happen often, Kopach said.

    Anyone in the student union between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. looking for non-bottled beverages or a potty break might have noticed.

    One student union business hit particularly hard was the Canyon Café.

    “”Our espresso machines we couldn’t use. We couldn’t brew any fresh coffee,”” said employee Alex Hodges, a Spanish translation and interpretation senior. “”We could only use the things we had brewed earlier this morning. We only had the capacity to serve iced tea, iced coffee and decaf coffee, because those things we have in abundance.””

    Taped on the door and written in black magic marker on notebook paper, employees notified students of the inconvenience.

    “”It was fairly dead in here, mostly because we had the signs out,”” Hodges said. “”But some people came in and missed the signs. We gave them other alternatives on what they could drink, and they were OK with that.

    “”When (the water) came back on, it was coming out grey,”” Alex added. “”So we couldn’t serve it, and we had to let it run for a long time. We had to call union maintenance, and they came and fixed it.””

    Across the student union, at the food court, the Burger King felt less of an impact.

    Jerry Ramero, the restaurant general manager, said it didn’t really affect the burger business, and the only big loss was that they didn’t have sodas for about an hour.

    “”We had to sell bottled water, but a majority of (beverage sales) are bottled water anyway,”” he said.

    Food services weren’t the only thing affected. Plumbing for all 26 restrooms was shut off as well.

    “”I don’t know why they turned off the water and rendered the bathroom useless,”” said janitorial worker Manuel Valencia, in Spanish.

    He said he put reminders up telling students that the restrooms were out of order.

    “”But people still went in,”” Valencia said.

    He said he no longer had water to clean with, so he and a co-worker were charged with guarding the toilet paper.

    “”We were trying to turn it around as quickly as possible,”” said Kopach. “”And quite frankly, the turn-around on the pipe repair was excellent. We don’t like seeing it happen, but our plumbing shop was able to go ahead and get it fixed within an hour and a half, and that was very good.””

    He said that to his knowledge, there was no major flooding in the tunnels.

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