The Collegian
Monday, August 03, 2020

Water main break causes low water pressure on campus, outage in area

<p>North Court houses the University of Richmond education department.</p>

North Court houses the University of Richmond education department.

This story has been updated to reflect that water pressure levels on campus have returned to normal.

Campus water pressure is normal again, after a water main break nearby caused lowered pressure levels throughout the day, university communications said in an email sent to students at 5:05 p.m. Sunday. 

A water main break in the Stratford Hills area of Southside and the West End near the University of Richmond was the cause of the lowered water pressure levels across campus.

The Richmond Department of Public Utilities tweeted about a widespread water outage in the area at 12:32 p.m. Sunday.

The water pressure on campus was so low that toilets, showers and sinks were impacted, said Carolyn Bigler, associate director of undergraduate student housing, in an email to students. Students should use restrooms on the first floor of buildings because the water pressure was stronger on lower floors, Bigler said.

The water outage was traced back to a water main break near Huguenot Bridge, the utilities department said.

There was no estimated time on restoring water but the leak was isolated, the department said in a later tweet at 2:34 p.m.

University communications sent another email to students about the leak at 2:10 p.m. The utilities department told the university that water pressure should be restored in two to three hours, according to the email.

Because the water break was off campus, campus facilities could not do anything to mitigate the water pressure issue, a facilities spokeswoman said.

Students in North Court reported water pressure issues in the dorm.

Matthew Johnson, junior, lives in North. Johnson’s shower was not working, he said, and the sink barely dribbled out water. The water also was only coming out cold, he said.

“Flushing the toilet proved a useless endeavor,” Johnson said.

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But water pressure and temperature returned to normal a little after an hour later, he said.

Water pressure is restored in most areas surrounding Huguenot Bridge and is safe to drink, the utilities department said in a tweet at 3:30 p.m.

Contact news editor Julia Raimondi at Arrman Kyaw contributed reporting for this story. 

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