Physical Plant Springs a Leak


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She was on her way to work—a normal day. She skip-stepped along the sidewalk. Why not? It was a beautiful day, her classes went well and the JU atmosphere seemed perfectly centered.

But then she stepped on uneven ground.

“I had my big headphones on and I was jamming to the music and I was walking,” freshman Brittany Bush said. “And all of a sudden I looked down and I was like ‘Oh my goodness my shoes are soaked!’ and these guys were like ‘Whoa!’ and I was like ‘Oh!’”

JU’s campus got a little wetter when a pipe near the Swisher Library suddenly burst. Though the damage did not deter too many students on campus, it did inconvenience some on their way to classes, work or the library. Students and faculty working at the library were affected the most.

“We weren’t allowed to use the bathroom,” freshman Brianna said. “They had to turn the water off.”

Linda Matyas, resource faculty associate and librarian of Swisher Library, did not know what was happening at the first sign of trouble.

“It looked like two guys looking at the sprinkling system, and all of a sudden there was water everywhere and 15 guys were out there trying to keep the water from coming into the library,” she said. “They had to put sandbags out to keep the water from flowing into the library. They were quick.”

Some students were impressed with how quickly they cleared the water. Others did not even notice that there was a problem.

“I thought that it was an impressive response time,” freshman Ellis Harr said. “I went into my class and it wasn’t burst and when I came out it was, but there were a bunch of maintance workers there.”

Once Matyas found out what was going on, she was not surprised.

“We’ve had these issues before,” Matyas said. “These buildings are old. Some of them were built in the 60’s and they sometimes leak. Also, Florida ground is very shifty.”

Since the physical plant was unable to comment on the pipe burst near the library, the cause of the burst is unknown at this time.

According to journalist Amy Nutt, there are eight main reasons why a pipe would burst: frozen pipes, corrosion, aging water pipes, physical damage, too much pressure in pipes, improperly installed water pipes or long term cracks.

The physical plant can be contacted at (904) 256-7550.

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