UPDATED: Student Health Center flooded, bathrooms shut down for broken water main


UPDATE 5/6: SF State will make a claim against the insurance of Express Plumbing for damages after the external contractor burst a water line behind the Ethnic Studies and Psychology Building, causing a stream of water to flow down the service road to State Drive, according to Chuck Meyer, director of facilities and service enterprises at SF State. Both the water and natural gas lines affected have been fixed.

A hallway at the rear of the Student Health Center flooded Friday, May 2, after a water line burst, which prompted officials to shut down water lines and close all bathrooms across campus.

Express Plumbing workers turn off water valves to control the flood behind the Health Center and Ethnic Studies and Psychology Building Friday May 2. Photo by Tony Santos / Xpress

“During a directional boring operation to replace old infrastructure and restore a natural gas line to the athletic field house a water line was nicked,” said Chuck Meyer, facilities director at SF State, who was still assessing the damage.

Aimee Williams, lead health educator at the Student Health Center, was in her office when water poured through the electrical doors at the Student Health Center. She heard that the water level raised inches off of the ground.

“It just came in through the back,” said Williams, who brought towels to help soak up water in the hallway before maintenance vacuumed the area.

SF State President Leslie E. Wong and Vice President Ron Cortez were seen surveying the incident after it occurred. They were attempting to figure out what happened, according to Wong.

Officials were seen directing traffic out of the parking garages near the Bike Barn and State Drive.

“At this point it’s happening, we’re just trying to make sure people get through safely to where they need to go,” said Capital Planner Ryszard Pochron as he guided students and cars around the flooded road.

A worker drives through the flood behind Ethnic Studies and Psychology Building Friday May 2. Photo by Tony Santos / Xpress

Facilities staff closed all bathrooms on campus, checking for students and faculty inside before locking the doors, after the line busted open around 2pm, according to Chris Hipona of SF State facilities.

“We’re all running around campus shutting down bathrooms and any water we’re shutting down right now,” said Hipona.

SF State announced that water was shut off over the P.A. system in the Student Health Center, and issued text and phone calls to students with further information that included the closure of incoming parking to the Lot 20 parking garage. No buildings were closed or classes cancelled.

SF State said in an email to students that water is being turned back on.

No injuries were reported in the Student Health Center, according to Williams.

A worker cleans up water in the Student Health Center caused by the water line puncture Friday May 2. Photo by Tony Santos / Xpress