Water line breaks affect Moudy for third time this year

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At around 6:45 a.m. Monday, a 12-inch cast-iron pipe underneath the intersection of Princeton Street and University Drive burst.

The Fort Worth Water Department began repairing the pipe about an hour later, which ultimately forced crews to shut off the water that runs through the Moudy buildings by 3:45 p.m.

Both of the building managers were notified of the incident, however, some students did not know there was a water leak.

“I spent most of the day in Moudy and had no idea there were any problems,” said senior communication major Makayla Soria. “It wasn’t until I was walking on University and saw all of the workers and someone outside told me.”

The Fort Worth Water Department owns most of the pipes that run under University Drive and has lines that run off to TCU.

“Those pipes connect to a service meter that run the water connected to TCU’s property through a distribution system,” said Mary Gugliuzza, the communications director for the Fort Worth Water Department.

The pipe that burst on Princeton Street released a pressure that needed to be isolated in order to fix the line. Gugliuzza said the way to isolate this pressure was to cut off the main water lines in Moudy. 

Chris Honkomp, assistant vice chancellor for facilities of the physical plant, said this is the third water main break that has affected Moudy this year.

Water bubbles up from the cracks in the sidewalks outside of the Moudy buildings due to a water main break last semester (photo by Richard Edgemon).

“There’s no exact reason we can identify why the pipes burst,” Honkomp said, “but the pipes connected to the Moudy buildings are older, cast iron pipes which can be affected by the clay earth that surrounds them when the earth moves.”

Most of the newer buildings on TCU’s campus use high-density polyethylene pipes, which are more resilient to clay earth movements, Honkomp said.

“Any project where the physical plant can go in to the water system, we try to go in and replace the old piping to avoid this problem.” Honkomp said.

Gugliuzza said the issue was resolved at 11:33 p.m. Monday night but to expect Princeton Street to be closed for the next few days while they repair the street.

The bathrooms and all of the water lines in the Moudy buildings are now safe to use.