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Memorial Hall's hot water is restored

Jan. 26, 2001

Residents: Water fluctuates from warm to scalding

By CAROLINE DANGLES

Reporter

For the last few weeks, women living in Memorial Residence Hall have experienced troubles with the water. The ARAMARK company has been working on the problem everyday and finally figured it out Wednesday.

First, they rose the steam's pressure. Then, they cut off the water for four hours on Tuesday and changed some valves.

Because women were still complaining, staff workers in collaboration with engineers went through the building and finally localized the problem.

'We found a piece eroded on the water steamer itself,' said Kenneth Haltom, senior control technician at ARAMARK.

The broken piece they found is a heat exchanger, an essential part in the process of converting steam into hot water. A new piece has been ordered and should be delivered in a couple of weeks.

'It might take two to six weeks,' said MEP manager Dennis Ferguson.

Most of the women did notice a change in the hot water and the amount of complaints have considerably decreased, said Nadine Bruner, Memorial's director.

'We've had two complaints since the 17th [of January],' Bruner said.

Women were also taken seriously these past few days. A note was put in Memorial Hall asking residents to participate in an investigation concerning their schedule and petitioning their comments about the water pressure.

Bruner, who took the survey back to ARAMARK on Thursday, said more than half of the residents responded to it.

The answers will be studied in order to give the company an overview of the women's schedule.

'We'll have a more precise look at the situation when girls get back to normal routines,' Ferguson said.

Some residents were forced to change their shower schedule as a result of the water temperature.

'I have to make different times to take my showers and go to different places,' Belinda Stewart, an Arlington sophomore, said.

'Now I just take them at night or at the SLC,' Jennifer Zell, a Houston sophomore, said.

Although it is warmer, the water is still a problem for some of the residents.

'The water is warmer but the pressure is not working,' said Hasina Pottinger, a Sugar Land freshman.

She mentioned that water is now fluctuating between warm water and scalding water, especially if someone flushes the toilets above the stairs.

'You feel a drastic change, generally in hot [water],' Pottinger said.

Haltom said hot water is a different problem that can be fixed easily. His computer clearly showed that the water was sometimes rising to 160 degrees, in the heater tube, instead of maintaining an average of 130 degrees. 'It is a control issue,' he said.

ARAMARK technicians were working to fix the water problem on Thursday afternoon.