Failed valve floods Lone Mountain North ground floor overnight

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, Oct. 1, two Foghorn staff members discovered flooding on the ground floor of the Lone Mountain North Residence Hall.

Shortly after 4 a.m., the flooding of warm water reached up to approximately 1.5 inches in some areas and appeared to be emerging from the utility room just to the side of the main elevators. At the time it was discovered, nearly the entire ground floor had been affected, and there were no areas of dry ground.

Craig Petersen, director of Facilities Management, told the Foghorn that the flooding was caused by a failed safety valve on a water heater that serves hot water to the Lone Mountain North building.

Water could be seen and heard flowing into the elevator shaft, and its echo could be heard when boarding the elevator as high as the seventh floor. 

According to Petersen, the shaft extends approximately eight feet down from ground level. It is not believed that any equipment was damaged, but a small pool of accumulated water was drained. Any residual moisture will be addressed by a specialized elevator service technician — it may be allowed to evaporate, or the technician may determine it needs to be mopped up. In that event, one or possibly both elevators may be taken temporarily offline so that the technician can enter the shaft itself.

The two Foghorn staff members reported the flooding to the Community Assistant on-duty, who had not previously been aware of the flooding.

Shortly after facilities arrived on the scene, the safety valve was replaced and the water heater was functioning normally once more.

At the time this issue was sent to print, an estimated cost of damage or repairs had not been determined. “Since it appears as though everything was contained,” Petersen said, “there may not be any actual damage cost, other than the lost cost of redirecting repair engineers and custodial crews from other assigned tasks.”

In the future, anyone who witnesses a facilities-related issue is encouraged to call the Facilities front desk at (415) 422-6464, or to contact Public Safety at (415) 422-4222.

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