Village A water main to be fixed early Saturday morning

The replacement of the pipe that ruptured early Saturday morning will occur on Feb. 1, beginning at 1 a.m. and concluding at 5 a.m., Robin Morey, Vice President for Planning and Facilities Management, told Vox in an email. The water main break was caused by extreme temperatures and lack of water use at the time.

For a quick science lesson (come on now, this is Georgetown), water expands when it freezes. With students asleep in the wee hours of Jan. 25, the stagnant water was prone to freeze within the pipe, causing it to spilt.

“This particular section of piping was more susceptible due to settling of soil around the piping and no flow in the piping,” Morey said. “Late at night the building occupants are generally sleeping and not actively using water.”

Morey said this was the first water main rupture in Village A, but Facilities has seen other smaller cases around campus during the recent Siberian temperatures.

A temporary fix was achieved with a stainless steel band, which Morey compared to a Band-Aid. The permanent fix will require the ripping up of a sidewalk and the replacement of the broken pipe and connectors.

To prevent future breaks in the future, Facilities plans to maintain water flow.

Morey wrote: “During future cold snaps we will bypass small amounts, thus maintaining water flow, to help prevent freezing. Water flowing does not freeze as easily as idle water in the piping.”

Photo: Isabel Echarte/Georgetown Voice

Editor’s Note: The post originally stated that the water main would be fixed Feb. 3. The water main will be fixed Feb. 1.

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