Vandalism costs King’s $40,000

Paper towel-filled toilets flood two buildings, shut down part of the King’s library

 

A vandal has made quite the mess of the King’s College library basement.

On October 20th, facilities employees were confronted with blocked toilets in the basement.

What could be worse?

A blockage in the sewage lines outside meant that the library’s pipes couldn’t be cleared.

Oh, and the New Academic Building was flooded too.

For some time, maintenance workers believed the flooding originated at Dalhousie.

“It just happened that we had our flood at the same time that they were having a backup in one of their manholes outside the library,” explains Alex Doyle, Director of Facilities at King’s.

“What happened at Dalhousie didn’t help us any, but it certainly didn’t cause the problem.”

King’s employees and a plumber later discovered that the flooding was caused by vandalism.

“The case here was that somebody put a lot of paper towel, continuously, to get to the point where they could block the line. They kept flushing the toilets until it backed up the system and then they left.”

Doyle says the same person returned to the library on the 27th, when the library basement was flooded again using paper towels.

“It’s really sad. I’ve only been here three years and I’ve never seen anything like this before. It’s not typical of King’s students.”

King’s College is now left with the cost of repairs. An email sent to the King’s community said it could cost up to $40,000. Doyle hopes that insurance will cover some of the fees.

“We can’t absorb this cost,” he says.

Thankfully for King’s, Dal is covering the costs of the cleanup on their side.

The blockage at Dalhousie was dealt with by Glen Deveau, Zone Supervisor at Dal.

“We opened the manhole and found that there was a large amount of silt and some large chunks of asphalt that was actually blocking the opening from the manhole to the Wallace McCain Learning Commons.”

Deveau believes the debris was left over from the repaving of Lord Dalhousie Way a few years ago.

He says that coordinating services between Dalhousie and King’s can sometimes be complicated, but the teams worked well together in responding to the flood.

Students currently can’t access the library’s basement, and Doyle hopes to eventually replace all paper towels with hand dryers. For now, King’s has increased security in the area and continues the search for the vandal.

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Emma Meldrum

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