Safety shower causes flooding in McAllister

Bailey Dingley, Campus Carrier Staff Writer

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Bailey Dingley | CAMPUS CARRIER
Ceiling tiles are missing from a hallway of McAllister due to water damage.

A safety shower caused a flood in McAllister Hall during the winter break, damaging property and some equipment.

Thomas Shipman, McAllister Hall maintenance coordinator, discovered the running safety shower when he arrived at the building on Dec. 29, 2017 at approximately 10 a.m. 

“I could hear it,” Shipman said. “The water was pouring like a waterfall.” 

According to Shipman, the third floor of McAllister flooded when the valve on the safety shower opened due to the decrease of temperature in the building.

William Davin, biology professor, said the water from the third floor leaked through the pipes into the second and first floors. While there was minimal damage to equipment, the carpet and ceiling tiles in many offices in the biology department had to be replaced.

“We were very lucky (despite) the thousands of gallons,” Davin said. 

Berry College Physical Plant and an external company, PuroClean, restored the damage. The valves on all the safety showers were also replaced.

“They are all replaced and turned back on,” Shipman said. “We are pretty much back to where we should be.”

The water damaged a computer in a chemistry lab, but no other lab equipment suffered damage, according to Shipman. 

Two more showers turned on during the clean-up process, but since there were people in the building, the showers were quickly turned off. 

According to Davin, the flooding did not affect the start of classes or hinder teaching at all. 

“Other than the ceiling tiles being gone, you wouldn’t have noticed,” Davin said. “It was an amazing job of replacement.” 

According to both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Berry College Chemical Hygiene Plan for Laboratories, safety showers must be checked routinely. This can also cause wear on the safety shower valves over time. 

“We keep calling her the new science building, but it’s 18, 19 years old,” Davin said.

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