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Cold causes $50,000 leak

Ice melting

A leak in the pedway connecting the CAT Building and M Parkade over the Christmas break will cost up to $50,000 in repairs. The leak on Dec. 29 appears to be the result of extremely cold temperatures during the holidays.

“It was a fire sprinkler line that froze up and the pressure eventually popped the sprinkler head,” said NAIT senior manager, Wade Gasmo. “Right now we’re just evaluating what caused it. The drywall has been removed and the ceiling’s open, just for us to assess.”

“[The leak] was turned off within about 20 minutes by our trades and labor staff, and they responded as soon as the alarm went off,” explained Gasmo.

The pedway is open, although more repairs are still on the way for the long term, and the ceiling is still exposed. Wade Gasmo and his team are looking further into repairs and how to prevent these types of incidents in the future. He explains the CAT building flood as “a fire sprinkler line with a lot of water that came out in a short period of time.”

These issues don’t appear to be a result of improper construction or maintenance codes. Gasmo doesn’t know of any injuries as a result of the flooding or clean-up.

Another similar, less damaging leak happened during the break. NAIT was unoccupied at the time and “we had the building systems turned down [to] try to save energy,” says Gasmo. The other piping break took place in a kitchen, but it didn’t cause the same degree of damage. Both pipes are suspected to have faulted as a result of the extreme cold that swept throughout Alberta.

– Bryn Lipinski

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