An accident during repairs to a broken water main by Pearlman Hall on Jan. 28 damaged a nearby control valve and caused water to leak onto the surrounding sidewalk, Vice President of Campus Operations Lois Stanley told the Justice in an email on Wednesday. 

The University’s contractor, P.W. Ryan Co., temporarily fixed the control valve on Wednesday to stop the flow of water and will apply a permanent fix during February break. Stanley wrote in another email to the Justice on Friday that the damaged control valve “is one [of] many in the area and shuts off the water to a nearby hydrant.” The permanent repairs will involve replacing parts, and there was no damage to campus facilities.

The water main serving Pearlman Hall burst on Jan. 27, and the contractor fixed it with a clamp the next day. During repairs to the main, the control valves were shut off, which is when the damage occurred, according to Stanley’s email. 

Before calling the contractor, Facilities Services “made multiple attempts to fix [the control valve] in house, but nothing worked,” Stanley wrote on Friday. But even in the wake of these aborted attempts, eight days lay between the initial damage to the valve and the contractor’s arrival, as what Stanley described as a “slow leak of water” transformed into large puddles and ice patches on the walkways around Pearlman Hall.

Like the initial water main break, the area between Pearlman Hall and Goldfarb Library was cordoned off with orange construction cones and caution tape. However, with this incident, Facilities Services did not mark the area until water had been leaking for several days. 

While the community was kept updated about the water main break, Facilities Services did not inform the community about this leak. When asked why, Stanley wrote, “Four buildings including a dining hall were served by the water main that broke and we did not want to risk losing water service. That is not the case for the control valve.”