By Laura Austin
Monday morning, the grounds crew began putting in an asphalt curb to redirect water leaking from the canal that runs along Maeser Hill.
The crew will put in a drain to catch the redirected water so it will flow under the path, instead of over it.
Roy Peterman, grounds director, said the leak cannot be fixed permanently until the canal is completely drained of water. That won”t happen right away.
“We can”t just simply turn off the canal, because there are farmers and gardeners who depend on that water for their crops. And this happens to be an absolutely critical time for water,” Peterman said.
He said the problem might not be completely fixed until October, when the canal is drained.
“But, hopefully, we”re going to mitigate it, so it”s less of a problem,” he said.
Workers recently repaired a tear in the lining of the canal. However, the crack was not the problem.
Peterman said the crack was made while workers were searching for the real problem. He said there is evidence of a major leak under the canal which cannot be fixed until the canal can be drained and resealed.
Thursday, grounds crew cleaned Maeser Hill of the algae which had accumulated on the path because of the leak.
Jesse Coleman, 23, a junior from Honolulu, Hawaii, majoring in print journalism, said he walks up the hill every day. He said the leak in the canal caused a steady stream of water across the path up Maeser Hill.
“There was a culture of algae and slime growing there,” he said.
Peterman said the reason for the slick spot on the hill was the erosion of bentonite. Peterman said when the leak was first noticed in June, bentonite was put in the canal in an attempt to seal it off and slow the leak. Unfortunately, that was not enough, and the water carried bentonite across the path.
Emily Adams, 22, a senior, from Casa Grande, Arizona, majoring in recreation management and youth leadership said she is glad grounds crew has finally cleaned the path.
“It looks ten times better,” Adams said. “There was tons of moss and algae.”
Peterman said he hopes students will be patient with the grounds crew as they fix the leak.
“Understand that it”s being worked on and it”s really a lot more complicated than it seems,” Peterman said.