Further water problems at New Bridewell

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By James Cleaver, Online News Editor

Students at New Bridewell were forced to manually refill their toilets after having their water supply affected for the third time this term.

A major leak in the water pipes in B block caused all the water at the Unite-owned residence to be turned off for two hours on Wednesday 14 November. The management team provided unlimited water bottles at reception, and students were informed that they had to manually fill up their toilets with water in order to flush them.

The University refused to say how many plastic bottles were given out during this time. While the hot water was restored that night, the cold water was not turned back on until the next day after the visit of plumbing engineers.

'There’s now been multiple occasions where we’ve been without water and it’s been a big inconvenience. We’d expect better given the cost of yearly residence at New Bridewell.'

Once turned back on, the hot water was able to be used for cooking and washing. In emails seen by Epigram, students were advised ‘if you simply fill your toilet with water from the hot water system then they will still function as normal.’ Students were informed that there was absolutely no danger of the water being contaminated, and that a 'major leak' was the only concern.

While the leak was being investigated, there was a loss of power for 15 minutes across the entire halls to avoid the obvious safety risk of mixing electricity and water. Students also had to use shower and washing facilities at the nearby Puregym.

One fresher at New Bridewell, speaking on condition of anonymity, complained: 'There’s now been multiple occasions where we’ve been without water and it’s been a big inconvenience. We’d expect better given the cost of yearly residence at New Bridewell.'

The management team subsequently carried out a ‘full-scale service and repair’ of B Block’s pipework on 21-22 November, following a temporary fix earlier this month. In that time, B block was without cold water for 24 hours, and there was a period of 90 minutes in which all blocks had their water turned off. Students were required to fill up their toilets with hot water and the management team provided refillable water bottles at reception again.

'New Bridewell has been in regular communication with students about this issue and the University is satisfied that this problem, which was not the result of any action or inaction on their part, was handled well.'

The University’s Accommodation Services stated: 'We are confident that the repairs to the boost system and the pipework has resolved all issues with the water situation at New Bridewell. We ensured we got the best possible advice and engineering company to provide a detailed review and repair to the entire water pressure system as well as the damaged pipework. At present we do not have any further work scheduled over the Christmas period.

'New Bridewell has been in regular communication with students about this issue and the University is satisfied that this problem, which was not the result of any action or inaction on their part, was handled well.'

This incident was the third problem New Bridewell has faced with its water supply since 10 September this year. The other two occurred on 20/21 October in A-block and on 30 October in B-block. Similar processes which involved water being isolated from buildings in order to repair leaks were also overseen in the academic year 2016/2017.

Featured image: Epigram / James Cleaver


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