By Cassie Ordonio/Staff Writer
City College’s Ocean Campus reopened on Dec. 24 following its third water main break in the Fall 2015 semester.
The latest flooding took place on Dec. 22 between the Student Union and Smith Hall that forced closure of the campus when water to the entire campus had to be shut off.
Ted Aranas of buildings and grounds said he’s not sure whether a leak or a crack caused the flooding.
“This was a difficult fix compared to Conlan Hall’s leak,” Aranas said. “The trick is to find the actual pipe that caused the flood.”
The first campus flooding in Fall 2015 occurred on Oct. 9 when an underground water leak surfaced beneath a Conlan Hall walkway. The flooding affected use of restroom facilities in the building forcing employees and visitors to use restrooms in adjacent buildings.
Continued issues with a water line led to a second flood in Conlan Hall on Oct. 13 that forced the closure of the bookstore. The closure prevented students from purchasing blue composition books or Scantron forms necessary for mid-term exams.
In the Dec. 22 flooding, workers for the San Francisco Public Works Department and campus facilities dug-up two holes on the slope along side the Student Union, according to Aranas. The first one was approximately three feet deep to locate the water shut off vale. The second hole was approximately two-and-a-half feet deep to find the pipe that caused the flood.
“It’s an aging infrastructure and it’s time for an upgrade,” Bob Carney, a buildings and grounds engineer, said.
The Dec. 22 water main break was first reported at about 4:30 p.m. By 5 p.m. Interim Chancellor Susan Lamb issued a district-wide alert ordering the closure and instructing everyone to stay away from the Ocean Campus.
City College librarian Karen Saginor told the San Francisco Examiner that she noticed something strange near the Student Union. “I looked down and I thought, look at all that water down on the ground.”
Saginor said the water was flowing faster than fully opening a tap to fill a bathtub.
Meanwhile, Aranas said he recently contacted several general contractors to look into the college’s aging underground water pipes for future replacement.
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