Boarding students facing water problem

Ha Nguyen, Senior Staff Writer

In February, MacDuffie boarding students faced a problem with the dorm’s water system. At 11:40 p.m., on Sunday, Feb. 8, boarding students received an email from the Duty Phone, warning them that there was a water problem and, in the boy’s dorms, there were no working showers or sinks, and that no one should flush the toilet. Later that day, the boys’ dorm could use showers, taps, and toilets again.

On the other hand, the water in the girl’s dorm still malfunctioned. In the email the Duty Phone sent out, it said the girls’ toilets were “at risk for having overflowing problems because of the lack of tank.” They were allowed to use sinks and showers. 

The girls were encouraged to use the toilets by the arts wing. The boarding department also operated a bus to Dunkin’ Donuts to use the bathroom there. 

The water came back to normal on the next Monday. Dean of Boarding Dina Lyman said that the maintenance had been working 24/7 from Saturday night through Monday. She also said that raising the water pressure to the right level in a big facility like MacDuffie takes more time than it would otherwise. 

According to Business Manager Andrew Parker, the reason behind the water issue was two water tanks that froze under the combination of cold weather and the way they were installed.

“To fix the problem, we have to replace the transducer,” he said.

He also said that this was the new well that was first put in service in June. So this was the first time it had operated in the winter.  

Parker said that he was aware of a problem at 6:57 p.m. on Saturday, so he and the maintenance team investigated it and called the service. He and his team started to fix the water pressure on Saturday night. The water finally got back to normal at 4:05 p.m. on Monday.

He said that this problem would not happen again soon.

“This has nothing to do with the students. It wasn’t the students’ fault since it is a mechanic fault with the system,” he said. So the students don’t need to do anything to avoid this happening again. 

Senior Daiki Akita said that the problem had already happened before the email, and he was unhappy because the school didn’t give an explanation for that. He also mentioned that some individuals in the boys’ dorm made the toilets clogged. He said they should be responsible for themselves.

“To fix the toilets, Mr. Parker and his team had to clean it by themselves,” Akita said.

Akita hopes that this will not happen again because the students won’t be able to take care of their personal hygiene, which is unhealthy and can cause the spreading of germs.

“In the future, if something like this happens again, someone has to tell what is going on sooner,” Akita said. 

After the unwanted situation, Junior Vy Dinh realized that “water is really important in our lives. We take it for granted without thinking how hard it can be without water.” She also noticed that everyone was grumpy due to the lack of water. 

“People complained because we did not know anything else to do. I tried not to use water at all, it was terrible,” Vy said.