Broken sewer line causes office flood

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Furniture moved into former fitness area in Loftin Student Center.

By Sergio Medina

A broken main sewer line caused overflow from a toilet Oct. 18, flooding several office spaces adjacent to Room 126B of McCreless Hall.

Rooms 124D, 124G, 126A, 126B, 126C, 126D and 126E were affected by the overflow, which at its worst caused about an inch of flooding in the vicinity.

Facilities Director David Ortega said the problem was a broken sewer line on the west end of McCreless.

“The sewer line was broken at the main,” he said. “The main sewage line going out of the building, over there, toward San Pedro (Avenue).”

Ortega said the line collapsed in on itself. While he didn’t know the reason, he said constant rain in previous days might have contributed.

He said contractor A-Ram Plumbing Inc. fixed the plumbing issue.

To avoid water damage, the furniture had to be moved out of the area.

“Everything was removed and sanitized, and it was relocated,” Ortega said.

The furniture was removed because of the Category 3 water, which is also referred to as black water, he said.

Category 1 water is clean water; Category 2 is water with some degree of contaminants and Category 3 is highly contaminated water, such as sewage.

Blackmon Mooring, a local water-damage restoration service, removed the furniture and began cleaning the affected offices’ carpet Oct. 18.

Room 126B was the most affected because of its immediate vicinity to the restroom.

Computer support technician Frank Marcie, who stores equipment in the office, said a crew of about nine from Blackmon Mooring were at the scene, working to remove furniture from the area affected when he arrived to his office around 2 p.m. Oct. 18.

Four out of the seven rooms affected had to have furniture removed entirely.

Nineteen blow-driers, which belong to the same company, were placed throughout the office space the same day to dry the carpet and were still in place Oct. 22.

Marcie said the water filtrated into the walls and almost made it to the math lab in Room 124, which is the closest room used by students to the office space.

He also said computers and electronic equipment had to be moved out to avoid damage.

Janae Johnson, coordinator of college risk management, said the furniture had to be moved quickly. She also said she did not want the furniture sitting out in the hallway and it will be moved back once the area is dry.

The water-damage service crew placed the furniture in the old fitness center at Loftin, next to the south exit of the building.


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