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Students lose water and heat after pipe breakage

City workers work to repair the pipe after breakage on Bill McDonald on Wednesday, Jan. 13. // Photo by Daisey James
City workers work to repair the pipe after breakage on Ferry Avenue, off Bill McDonald Parkway, on Wednesday, Jan. 13. // Photo by Daisey James

Updated Jan 14 9:30 a.m. : Birnam Wood residents reported noticing running water was on around 6:55 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan 13, Associate Director of University Residences Terence Symonds said.

A main city water pipe off of Bill McDonald Parkway burst and is affecting delivery of water for Birnam Wood and neighboring apartment complex residents.

An email was sent on Wednesday, Jan 13. at 1:57 p.m. alerting Birnam Wood residents of the break on the corner of Ferry Ave and Voltaire Court. Residents of Birnam Wood and surrounding complexes will be out of heat and running water until the pipe is fixed.

The water line could be fixed late Wednesday night or sometime Thursday, Jan. 14, according to University Residences.

Residence Life has prepared four portable toilets through the Birnam Wood parking lot and two water stations in the Community building for use through the night. Traffic and detours may be present on Bill McDonald while the break is fixed and residents are advised to head to the Wade King Recreation Center for showers, according to an email at 5:15 p.m. from Associate Director of University Residence Facilities Terence Symonds.

Had the break occurred later in the day, it would have been more difficult to obtain the toilets and water dispensers, Symonds said.

City workers replacing the broken pipe Wednesday evening said the it had likely suffered from a valve failure. The cause of the break has yet to be confirmed.

The water line is dependent on the city and is not maintained by Birnam Wood or Western, according to the University Residences email. Those with questions about the shortage are directed to call City of Bellingham Public Works at (360) 778- 7900.



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