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Campus-wide water outage affects students, residents

A water outage shut down much of UMBC during the morning and early afternoon of Friday, Oct. 12.

Early that morning, UMBC’s Residential Life was informed of a water outage that affected much of the UMBC campus, including academic buildings, residence halls and on-campus apartments. As a result, faucets, showers and water fountains would not function, while toilets reportedly only had enough pressure for one flush.

Initially, a UMBC alert notified the community that campus would not open until 10 a.m. All dining options aside from the True Grit’s dining hall were also closed. The campus closure was progressively extended to 5 p.m. as Facilities Management worked to identify the cause of the outage and restore service to the campus.

To alleviate the issue for on-campus residents, Residential Life announced via email that a supply of bottled water was being delivered to each community desk. Residents wishing to use the restroom could use a number of portable toilets on Erickson Field or head toward the Performing Arts and Humanities Building, where running water was available in some areas.

In the early afternoon, Residential Life updated residents via email, saying that water had been restored to the campus and advising them to run water should discoloration occur. A further update by Facilities Management clarified that water flow was restored around 1:30 p.m. and noted that the cause of the outage was a water main break in Baltimore City. Academic buildings and the Retriever Learning Center subsequently reopened for the day, though the Commons, University Center and RAC remained closed alongside the on-campus retail food locations.

The water outage occurred in the aftermath of another water issue which caused water damage and the temporary closure of the RAC, though it is unknown if the two events are related. In the meantime, all campus facilities have been reopened for the weekend.