What happens if you hit a sprinkler?

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.

Freshmen, take note: when your RA tells you not to throw your Frisbee at the sprinkler, they mean it. “All the sprinklers will go off and there will be a terrible flood” might be an exaggeration, but a moldy carpet and having to pay damages is no fun either.

When we asked Director of Facilities Stuart Hain what would happen, he wrote: “it is not true that all the heads will go off if you open one. That said, as the folks in Parrish learned a year ago, a lot of water comes out of one head if the head is broken by a flying object. In fact, 10 times as much per minute as a shower.”

According to an article in the February 2, 2006 edition of The Phoenix, two students managed to knock the head of a sprinkler off with a football. The majority of the damage was ceiling and plaster damage, but one student had to temporarily relocate because of the extent of water damage to his room.

Fires, floods, and plagues of locusts, we’ll look into everything. Ask the Gazette at dailygazette@swarthmore.edu.

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