UH construction accident cuts water for 5 hours
A contractor working on the Frear Hall dorm project broke an 8-inch main, cutting water for about 5 1/2 hours yesterday to lower-campus dorms and about a dozen other buildings on the University of Hawaii-Manoa campus and the East-West Center.
"It sucks because you can't use the bathroom or wash your hands," said dorm resident Kim Arikawa.
Signs were posted at restrooms and entrances to affected buildings, and people were directed to bathrooms at buildings that had water.
The water main break occurred at about 10 a.m., and water was restored by 3:30 p.m.
At the Hale Aloha cafeteria, food service continued during lunch using plastic plates and utensils since they could not wash dishes.
Because there was no water, cooks could not make rice. Steak night was rescheduled for next week, and students were offered burgers instead last night.
The break was on a UH-owned pipe and was fixed by a plumbing subcontractor working on Frear Hall.
UH-Manoa Interim Housing Director Laurie Furutani considered bringing in portable toilets if the break lasted much longer. She said it was fortunate that the break occurred when most students were in class and not in the dorms.
Most classes went on as scheduled, although computer sciences labs in the Pacific Ocean Science and Technology building were canceled after the air conditioning went down, said Martha Crosby, chairwoman of the Information & Computer Sciences Department.
Chemistry labs were not using water this week, and there were no reports yesterday of research disrupted by the lack of water, said Chuck Hayes, interim dean of the College of Natural Sciences.