The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Maintenance Repairs Cause Steam Outages

2 min read


For the second time in three weeks, residents of Westmoreland, Jefferson, Russell, Marshall and Bushnell Hall were without hot water for a day due to facilities shutting off the steam to make permanent repairs to the building’s steam system.

The first outage lasted all day on Monday, April 9. The steam returned back to normal by the nighttime, along with the hot water in the morning.

Resident assistants informed their residents via email the day before that the water would be turned off. The facilities staff turned the steam system back on later that day after the repairs were complete.

On Wednesday, March 28 at 8:30 a.m., facilities turned the steam again. According to facilities, they initially turned the steam off due to a leak in the steam system, which required emergency repairs. It was then restored later that day.

“Life hasn’t really been impacted,” said senior Abi Candler, a resident assistant. “You take a cold shower, no big deal.”

According to an email sent to the effected buildings’ resident assistants, facilities turned the steam off on Wednesday, March 28 at 8:30 a.m., once again affecting the domestic water in the buildings. This was done in order to conduct emergency repairs on the steam system.

The emergency repairs were temporary until the correct parts came in. The permanent repairs took place two weeks later.

According to facilities, some dorms felt the effects earlier in the day. Dorms like Russell and Jefferson that have instantaneous water heaters were without hot water the entire day.

On the other hand, Bushnell and Marshall use traditional water tanks, each of which holds about 1000 gallons. These dorms were able to go about half the day before showers started to get cold.

“The most reaction I’ve heard from anyone is a couple random tweets about how their shower was cold,” said Candler.

While the repairs inconvenienced residents, they still maintained positive attitudes.

“People complained but it was mostly lighthearted,” said freshmen Bryan Chase, a resident of Jefferson Hall. “We understand that maintenance needs to do their job.”

Dan Quann, the acting director of maintenance services, did not respond when reached out to for comment.