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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Flooding in Ziv Quad

Published: March 2, 2007
Section: News

Several rooms in Ziv Quad were flooded February 16, according to residents. The flooding occurred after a student broke the head of the fire sprinkler in her room when removing a bag from her closet.

It thankfully could have gotten a lot worse, said Director of Residence Life Richard DeCapua, whose apartment in that building also had some leakage. There were a lot of people who had already packed their valuables for the break, so we lucked out on that.

Dustin Smith 08, one of the students affected, said that at first, the flooding was not apparent. I heard really loud running water I was really surprised because I had only been in the room for a month, and I didn't know how loud the water was. Then black water started seeping out of my closet.

Smith then operated quickly: I threw a container under it, and then ran to the CA, who wasn't here. I ran back up, and tried to get my computer and one other thing out of there, and I put it in the hallway. Then I ran up to find out what had happened.
Unfortunately, Smiths attempts were in vain: the hall outside had flooded as much as his room. My computer got destroyedthere were gallons of rusty water dumped upon everything in my room.

DeCapua described that because the sprinklers were connected to the fire alarms, the residents of the building quickly evacuated the building as the flooding began. That was when he saw the flooding room: Were talking gallons and gallons of water pouring down it went down all the way to the first floor. He added that since all the sprinklers are pressured, were lucky that the pressurized affect didnt start a cascading affect, drenching even more rooms.

Since people left, it gave Facilities good three to four days to come back and rip up carpet, replace mattresses whatever needed to be taken care of. They came back to find their rooms pristine.

Smith, however, said that while his mattress was replaced, instead of replacing the carpet, Facilities simply put air dryers in his room. He said that amongst the valuables he lost included my computer, all my electronics, like all my work, papers, notes, all my books, [and] my grandmother's Bible.

Stan Pashkovski 08, whose room was below Smiths, had significantly less damage: I mainly had leakage from the window side and from the middle of the ceiling, he said. I didnt really have any damage besides my bed sheets and my carpet. All the water pooled in my mattressafter the mattress was removed, it dripped onto the floor.