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ROTC building pipe burst prompts Baltimore City response

Residents of UMBC’s Naval ROTC Building were forced to evacaute after UMBC Facilities Management was notified of a pipe leak that occured just outside the driveway entrance of the building.

The pipe, which transits water to the surrounding Baltimore County community, burst early Teusday morning on November 22. The pipe erupted water that froze the branches of nearby evergreens.

According to an employee of Baltimore City, who was preparing to start working at the site, pipe bursts are a common occurrence this time of year.  He added that the current change of weather can cause tension under the soil, causing pipes to break open.

A UMBC Facilities Management employee on site at the incident stated that the area where the event occurred took place just outside UMBC property.  “It is a Baltimore County issue,” said the manager Bob Kelley.

Because the incident had to do with a water main issue, Baltimore City’s team was the one to respond.  “Anything that has to do with water pipes in Baltimore City or Baltimore County, Baltimore City takes care of,” said an employee who declined to give his identity.

The employee said that he will be conducting an excavation of the area surrounding the pipe. Later, other employees were dispatched  to fix the pipe leak.  Flags reading “BGE / BURIED GAS” were scattered throughout the area to ensure that no gas pipes  were burst in the excavation process.

Water flow to the surrounding Baltimore County community was cut off until the issue is resolved.  An employee told a concerned passerby that water should be running again no later than 8 p.m. tonight.

The water supply cut-off is only affecting two small parts of campus: the Naval ROTC building and the Alumni Offices Building.  No employees seemed to be working at the Alumni building. One ROTC staff member confirmed the water was not running in buildings as of late Tuesday morning.

A spokesperson for UMBC Facilities Management said that the issue would likely not be a major one.  The predicament created disrupted traffic patterns on Wilkens Avenue.

However, the incident did not appear to impede students’ commute Tuesday evening or the following morning.