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Busted water main creates havoc for McIntosh Center

Orange barricades surround uprooted dirt and concrete in front of the McIntosh Center. (Photo/Joseph Dunay)

A water mainline burst in the basement of the McIntosh Center was found Jan. 5.

The resulting mess created several difficulties for the university. The wood flooring in the McIntosh activities room buckled and warped due to water damage. Signs are placed around the affected area letting people know of the uneven floor. Plans are set to replace the wood flooring in July. 

The cause of the leak is unknown, but it is believed that age played a role into it as it was part of the original plumbing.

“The basement in Mac is usually dry all the time, but a maintenance man noticed the sump pump was running more than usual, so he checked it out,” said Marc Staley, the general manager of ONU Physical Plant. The reason for the pump’s extra work was the result of a leak coming from behind a wall in the basement.

The leaking pipe was never found by repair crews. Nonetheless, they were able to shut it off and replace it with a new line. It took about a week to attempt to locate the source of the leak. After no luck finding the origin, it was decided to cut off the line and replace it. A new water main was laid down with the help of a local directional boring company. The company upgraded the existing piping to help it handle more water as well.

"Physical Plant found the issue quickly and dealt with it swimmingly," said Dave Dellifield, Director of the McIntosh Center.

Physical Plant will address the lawn outside of the McIntosh Center. They plan to remove the dirt piles in time for graduation.

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