Gooch Hall floods with sewage

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October 5, 2007

3:50 PM

Last Sunday, Gooch Hall experienced a bathroom flood caused by a clog in the sewage line, resulting in the entire first floor flooding with raw sewage and the evacuation of eight students to the Hospitality House on Richmond Road.

p. The problem continued for three days while the clog was repaired and the affected spaces were inspected and cleaned.
“The College does take lots of preventative measures when it comes to draining, but problems can still arise from time to time,” Deb Boykin, director of Residence Life, said.

p. The clog was found in the bathroom in the first floor quad, located off the upper lounge, Sunday morning when the toilet flooded through the bathroom and the room. The residents called in an emergency work order.

p. “The residents who were in the room moved most of their belongings out of [their] room and placed them right outside Gooch. Maintenance personnel arrived on the scene to assess the situation, and then called in a plumber, more maintenance personnel, and a cleaning crew. [Over] the next few hours, the plumber and other maintenance personnel worked diligently to try and fix the problems,” Residence Assistant Vince Norako ’09 said.
After the original clog was repaired, the quad was cleaned. At around 7 p.m., however, the sewage line backed up again, this time affecting all of the toilets on the first floor, including the quad, the Area Director’s office, and the triple, which is located off the lower lounge.

p. Residence Life evacuated the eight affected residences and paid for the students to stay at the Hospitality House for three days.
“Once it became apparent that the problem would not be fixed before late [that] evening, the College had the residents that were affected by the flood [sent] to the Hospitality House. The College also activated all of Gooch’s residents’ [swipe cards] to [have] access [to] Dinwiddie and Nicholson to use their bathrooms,” Norako said.

p. Once the pipe had been completely flushed, the contracted cleaners were brought back in, working until 12:30 a.m. Monday to ensure that everything was hygienic. Additionally, the heating, ventilation and air conditioning vents were all cleaned and the filters were replaced as a precautionary measure.

p. “The first maintenance person was there from 10 [a.m.] to around 2 a.m. in the morning, and I personally saw him working at another part of campus [the next day.] I am truly glad to have such compassionate and hard-working people to serve the student body on this campus,” Norako said.

p. Residence Life also replaced all of the dormitory furniture in the students’ rooms and laundered all of the residences’ clothes and linens.

p. The Environmental Health and Safety Office, which is overseen by Facilities Management, inspected the dorms and lounges with a UV light, which would reveal traces of human waste. Although none was detected, the inspectors still recommended several of the measures that were taken by Residence Life to be sure that no potential contamination was untreated.

p. The two first floor RAs, Norako and Maria Trogolo ’10, kept residents informed with updates on the situation and posted signs to let students know not to use the water in the building.
estimates that the drive notified thousands of people of the situation.

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