MAC residents face bad smells and busted pipes

A student documents water in the crawl space of MAC 4 caused by a pinhole leak Sept. 23.

Last weekend, leaks were reported in the Main Apartment Complexes two and three.

Jodi Inman, associate director of housing, said the leak in MAC 4 was caused by pinhole leak in the piping of a domestic waterline and a toilet that overflowed throughout the evening caused the leak in MAC 2.

Inman said pinhole leaks are a problem with piping in general and are not limited to the MACs or because of old piping.

He said the pipes in the MACs are copper and can last between 50 and 70 years.

The MAC housing was built in 1985.

“No matter where you are at or how old your building is, you’re going to have problems,” he said.

The leak in MAC 2, however, was responded to by facilities maintenance. Tom Sternburg, interim director of maintenance and operations, said his crew was contacted Sunday morning after housing maintenance was unable to respond immediately to the situation.

- Advertisement -

He said the problem was solved, and AMB, a janitorial service contracted through the university, responded to clean the carpets that same day.

Sternburg also said that is where facilities maintenance involvement ended, but Inman said ABM returned to MAC 2 sometime between Tuesday evening and Wednesday afternoon to shampoo the carpets in all three rooms affected by the leak.

The leak in MAC 4 was temporarily handled by housing maintenance. Inman said rubber stoppers have been put on the pipes to slow the water flow and carpets have been vacuumed.

He said ABM has not been called to the dorm room involved because the leak has not been fixed yet.

There was confusion about whether housing maintenance contacted facilities maintenance about fixing the leak, and Inman did not contact TNL about the details of that confusion by press time.

“If you think about how many miles of pipes we have, the amount of leaks we have is pretty minimal,” Inman said.

Several students reported that the overflow in MAC 2 left carpets smelling like an open drain and the leak in MAC 4 smelled like mold last week, but no students were willing to go on the record about those claims.

Water leaks into the hallway in MAC 4 Sept.23 Reports from occupants state that the dorm has begun to smell of mold as of Sept.24.

Inman suggested for students to call their resident adviser or resident coordinator in the case of a facilities emergency.