For almost two months now, the area between building 1900 and 2000 is blocked off due to heavy leakage in the piping located below the pathways between the buildings. With over 1,000 gallons a day spilling out and the source is still unknown. “As you guys have seen, the leaks are very ugly right now.” states Walter “Waltz” Blevins, director of Maintenance and Operations in a board meeting in November.
According to Waltz, the leak was 5,000 gallons a day before the excavations, with it patched up after it finally surfaced. Though a pesky leak of over 1,000 gallons still runs loose somewhere on campus.
“Right now the guys are jackhammering through, 4 feet of concrete,” Waltz explains. “Because the leak is encapsulated in concrete, we won’t find it that way.”
The source of the leakage is still a mystery, though it’s suspected it’s in the T-in line that branches off toward the bookstore. This makes it harder to find because of the over 4 feet of concrete above it.
The issue was first brought to light in an email sent out by Charles Bender to the campus on October 10, in which he stated that there was a major leak in the hydronic piping between the 1900 and 2000 buildings. The project now seeks to demolish the pathways to excavate the underlying pipes to inspect them for damages and to repair them if need be.
On Friday, December 1, the water was closed off for half the campus buildings to make repairs, though it is unclear whether it was due in part to the water leaks.
The pipe leak raises concerns at Chabot; the piping affects the AC system on campus and the water flow on campus. The new water bottle stations around campus are affected too, with two stations having to be pulled off the water supply due to the leakage.
“It doesn’t affect me as much, but as a student who frequently goes to the STEM center, it can be quite annoying sometimes having to reroute my direction all because of the construction.” Michael Acholonu, a student who spends lots of his time on campus, says, “It also gets very annoying hearing the machinery from across campus, combined with the jackhammers going off on the other end while they try to remove the support beams, though I’m glad they’re addressing the issue now as opposed to just leaving it there.” He then added, “It’s also an eyesore for anybody visiting our campus, practically seeing the entire place under construction doesn’t help us with first impressions.”