What’s happening with the leaks in Lang and the SCCS Lounge?

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

We asked Ralph Thayer, Director of Maintenance, what was being done to fix these leaks. He wrote in an e-mail, “The roof leak in Lang Music was isolated and repaired about a week after it was discovered. The time between discovery and repair is due to the requirements of the roof warranty. We have to follow a protocol of call-in and verification before the roof repair is authorized… the roof is now repaired and the damaged areas have been patched and painted.”

Also in Lang, vandalism was reported late last week on the upper railing surrounding the central foyer. Thayer wrote, “Someone elected to ‘key’ the rail leaving deep scratches for a significant length and at one point paused to carve letters. It can be repaired, but it’s disturbing as the wood is a beautiful aged hardwood that is not easy to replace.”

The leak in the SCCS Video Pit was reported on February 27th. Trilok Acharya ’09, an SCCS sysadmin, recalled that “we had quite a lot of problems getting through the bureaucracy to get it fixed quickly,” but once Maintenance responded, Thayer reported that the leak was “traced back to a corroded grease trap serving Essie Mae’s.” Grease traps ensure that grease used in the kitchen doesn’t go into the pipes all at once and clog them–the trap allows water to drain while grease floats to the top.

The grease trap was removed, and “a straight length of pipe was put in place of the trap so operations could continue while we waited for delivery of the new grease trap,” which arrived last Friday. The new trap should be installed soon.

The leak did not cause significant damage. Acharya explained that “if it had been a few feet to one side, it would have killed our servers… it would have missed us completely if it had been a few feet on the other side.” As it is, “the carpet at the bottom of the pit isn’t doing too well, but it’s not too bad… it’s pretty usable, although some people might not be happy with the slight smell.”

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