SVC basement floods for third time in two months

For the third time this semester, the basement of the SVC flooded with sewage water and waste on Tuesday morning. All three incidents were caused by the same problem; blockage.

It first flooded due to grout blockage in the first floor men’s room at the end of September and repairs were ongoing when the basement bathrooms flooded the floor on Friday and again Monday due to “non-biodegradable paper towels and other materials” blocking the pipes, according to Assistant Director of Communications Aaron Nichols.

“That is why Facilities Management is utilizing a contracted plumbing service to conduct additional evaluations to determine if there are any contributing factors which can be effectively mitigated,” Nichols said of the recurring event. “In addition, due to these and similar occurrences at other campus areas, Facilities Management is evaluating the utilization of signage to educate the campus community regarding the impacts of flushing non-biodegradable materials into the wastewater system.”

The contract plumber is expected to come look for a permanent solution to the problem this morning and the area is expected to be completely reopened by the end of the business day. Currently, limited access to departments stationed in the area — specifically The Center for Victim Advocacy and Violence Prevention — is available but the SVC annex and breezeway will remain open throughout the entire process.

Nichols said there’s no environmental health and safety concerns related to the most recent flooding.

“Wastewater was extracted from the basement bathrooms and the adjacent exterior floors,” he said. “In addition, the bathroom and adjacent exterior floors were properly sanitized. No carpet or adjacent drywall was impacted with this event.”

The area directly outside of the basement restrooms was still receiving repairs from the first incident. The drywall had recently been patched and repainted but new carpeting hasn’t been put down.

“The response was immediate,” Nichols said. “Janitorial personnel were in the immediate area performing their routine duties, noted the initial indications of the wastewater back-up and immediately notified their supervisors for response.”