Monthly Archives: July 2013

Central Campus water main break

June 6, 2013, the UMass Campus experienced a water main break.  The break was located between Goodell, South College and the W.E.B. Du Bois library.

wmb01 wmb02 The Utilities crew secured the potable water supply utilizing an underground valve, this shut off of water caused a temporary break in service to the South College building.  During this time, the Utilities Mechanical Crew and the Construction Service crews brought on site all the necessary tools and equipment to the site to perform the necessary repair.





  • The Mechanical Utilities employees worked quickly to install and test a temporary back flow preventer device to get potable water from the distribution system  to South College so that the building had running water again by noon that day;
  • An emergency Dig Safe was ordered.  Roy Page was on the scene within an hour measuring, testing and marking areas where underground utility lines (water, electrical, gas, etc.) are located.
  • Electrical Utilities called in to secure electrical service;
  • Construction Services brought heavy equipment to the location to dig and to move the large concrete planters over the sight of the break;
  • Fencing was constructed to block off the area and to provide a safe environment for the campus and the workers;
  • Although the weather at the time was dry, the weather forecast for the next few days was not favorable so it was decided to hold off digging immediately until the weather cleared.  While it is not unusual for these crews to work outdoors in bad weather it was determined that since temporary water had been restored to the building the actions could wait until the weather cleared.
  • Once the site was dug, Mechanical Utilities found and repaired the break.  They did so by cutting out a 10 foot section of the more than 50 year old, compromised pipe and installed a new section of cement lined ductile iron pipe and secured them with the appropriate restraining clamps.
  • The remaining old pipe and the section of new pipe were chlorinated and disinfected to be sure no contaminants would enter the new water main.
  • The site was then partially filled and the Building Maintenance plumbing employees were called in to run flushing lines to flush out the system so particulates would not go through the system.
  • The hole was filled and then paved and returned to normal.


Campus wide fire hydrant flushing for 2013

Starting on Tuesday July 23rd and running approximately five weeks, or until completion, the fire hydrants on campus will undergo the annual flushing process.

Flushing will begin at 3:00 p.m. and run until 9:00 p.m. every weekday.  The perimeter of the campus will be done early in the shift and the core later in the shift.  We will notify residential areas two days before flushing.  This will include North Village and Lincoln Apartments.

Flushing of Fire Hydrants is an important preventative maintenance activity to help insure the integrity of the potable water system and the deliver of quality water to our campus population.  Flushing the hydrants remove sediments from the pipe, insures that the fire hydrants and valves are operating as intended, and helps to identify closed valves and weak flows.

Users may notice a discoloration in the water due to the flushing.  In the event that this does occur please open up your faucet and allow it to run water until it clears up.

If you have any questions or concerns about this project, please contact Tom Fydenkevez at: or 413-230-2143.

We thank you for your patience and cooperation during this critical process.