Water main breaks at Wyview, residents uninformed

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A section of the Wyview parking lot is blocked off for maintenance. A water main broke in the early hours of Oct. 4, 2023. (Trevor Myers)

A water main break in Wyview left seven buildings without water the morning of Oct. 4.

Marie Jensen, on-campus auxiliary maintenance dispatcher, said water was shut off in buildings one through seven. She approximated that with roughly 54 students living in each of the Wyview buildings, somewhere around 378 students were left without water for several hours.

Residents of Wyview did not receive any messages from BYU Housing alerting them to the water shut-off.

Jensen said the water main broke sometime prior to 5 a.m., and technicians were sent to the site. The water line was repaired and turned back on by 10:30 a.m., according to Todd Hollingshead of University Communications.

Hollingshead said the water line break was caused by damages from settlement “over a period of a few decades.”

“Unfortunately that happens from time to time,” Hollingshead said.

The hole created by the water main break was filled on Oct. 4 and is currently not visible, but Hollingshead said during the semester there will be a “fairly large” more in-depth asphalt repair.

Emily Mason lives in Wyview building four and woke up to no water.

“None of the water worked. I was out of there pretty early, so it didn’t affect me a ton,” Mason said.

Mason’s RA had already texted her and her roommates letting them know about the maintenance. Other residents, however, woke-up uniformed and were shocked when no water was available.

Landon Flake has been an RA for the past year. He received an early morning message from a tenant in the building he lives in. Flake then called maintenance, discovered the issue and communicated the issue to a group chat with his coworkers informing other RAs of the issues.

From there it was up to the other RAs to inform tenants.

Wyview resident Jacalyn Richie doesn’t live in one of the affected buildings, but she saw five or six maintenance trucks in the morning.

“I walked out to catch the shuttle about 9 or 9:30 a.m. As I was walking by the mailboxes I saw a good number of maintenance trucks … with pipes and different equipment on them and a lot of workers,” Richie said.

Ariel Hochstrasser has lived in Wyview for several years, and remembers when the water was shut off two years ago when a pipe burst.

“There was flooding all over the road,” Hochstrasser said.

Hochstrasser said she and her roommates walked to the laundromat anytime they needed water or to use the bathroom. She said the water was shut off for almost a day due to the severity of the situation. Hochstrasser appreciated how quickly maintenance workers fixed the situation.

BYU Police initially responded to the maintenance call because the maintenance office was not open at the time of the incident, according to Jensen.

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