Water Main Break Closes Break

By: Destiny Owens

Students and faculty at FM were surprised with a day off on Tuesday Sept. 13 due to a water main break on campus.

Joshua Flemming, director of facilities, was contacted by another member of the custodial team at 6am on Tuesday informing him of a huge puddle of water discovered on the sidewalk. Upon arriving to campus and seeing the puddle, Flemming concluded that they were not a significant safety risk to those walking on the sidewalk.

Flemming stated, “Our water comes from Johnstown, which ‘feeds’ our fountains, sprinklers, pipes, etc.  Unfortunately, the pipe in the Physical Education building cracked outside the building’s foundation wall.”

Due to the break, FM was closed for the day. Campuses are not allowed to be opened to students or faculty if the water system isn’t working (bathrooms, water fountains, cafeteria, etc.) Campus housing was not affected. Flemming added that if the problem wasn’t addressed immediately, the issue would have escalated.

Everything was repaired after 13 hours of work. In order to fix the damages, the leaking pipe was cut out and replaced. In addition, clamps were installed to the ends so that the pipe would remain in place. Being that the custodial team did not have all of the necessary tools to fix the pipe, contractors were hired.

Flemming said, “We experience these kind of problems during the winter. The pipes tend to freeze and crack. This just so happened to take place [under] better circumstances.”

FM immediately alerted the NYS Department of Health, who tested all water facilities on campus twice for contaminants and they all came back negative

“The cafeteria water was sent from Boces. They had boiled it so that it could be safe to use”, stated Flemming. Signs were put up around the school to prevent water usage and as soon as the results were sent back as negative, signs were taken down. The water in all facilities on campus is still safe to use.

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