Sprinkler Malfunction a Fluke Rather than Product of Vortex

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By: Melissa Gonzalez, gonzalezme@mnstate.edu

Kise Commons is back to business as usual after a sprinkler burst earlier this week.

On Tuesday, Jan. 29, a water sprinkler burst at the grill line, called the Dragon Pit, which borders the Mongolian grill station. An earlier report stated the cause was most likely due to the cold weather caused by the polar vortex hitting the Midwest.

As of, Friday, Feb. 1, that didn’t seem to be the case.

Mitchell Hogue, the building maintenance supervisor with MSUM’s Housing and Residential Life, said that the sprinkler system was not frozen, and the burst appears to be a fluke incident.

“Sometimes a sprinkler head decides not to be a sprinkler head,” Hogue said. “Sometimes they just drip and let go.”

After the Moorhead Fire Department allowed Kise to reopen on Tuesday, the Dragon Pit remained closed for maintenance until Jan. 31.

Hassan Beyah, the general manager with Sodexo on campus, said that it didn’t take long for the grill line to open and operate normally.

“Apparently it was a fairly easy repair because we were able to be up and running as of yesterday (Jan. 31),” Beyah said.

Beyah said there was no damage to food at the time of the burst.

“It was in the midst of our switch from lunch to dinner time frame. So we didn’t have anything out that was going to be wasted or damaged,” Beyah said.

The school contracted Dakota Electric and Nova Fire Protection Systems to assess the damage.

According to Hogue, no extensive damage was done. The sprinkler head that burst had to be replaced as well as an outlet that a nearby refrigerator was plugged into.  The sprinkler system had to be drained and refilled.

When asked how situations like this will be prevented in the future, Hogue said conversations about procedures and moving forward will begin next week.

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