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February 11, 2014

GavALERT: Broken Water Main

10:40 a.m. February 12

All rest room facilities and running water have been restored to the entire campus.

Here is what happened: At 9:15 AM on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 a four inch water main burst on the southwest corner of the Humanities building inundating the ground and the building interior with water, mud, and silt. The only possible response was to close the main valve providing water to the campus. 

The leak was caused by a three inch diameter sycamore tree root breaking the water line. Repair parts were ordered and the three foot section of pipe was replaced by 7:00 PM. Water was then restored to campus by 7:30 PM. However, after any water line is disturbed, some sediment is released in the piping system and although the lines were flushed we may continue to see rusty colored water. Maintenance continues to flush the lines, but it may take some areas a period of one or two days for the water to clear.

Damage control continues to take place today as Maintenance continues to  service toilet valves and flush water lines. Filtered drinking water is attainable in the Student Center from the water refill station just outside the cafeteria.

The emergency response action during the shutdown was excellent. The effort of all combined made a negative situation tolerable. 

Eighteen portable restroom facilities and wash stations were place at various locations throughout campus within 2 hours of the shutdown. A plumbing contractor was onsite by 12:30 PM excavating the leak site. Custodial staff stepped up to the challenge and vacuumed the  water and silt from the classrooms. Security assisted with foot traffic control at the site. MIS pitched in to unplug computer CPU units and lift from the floor to reduce potential water damage to computers. Volunteers helped place signs regarding the closure throughout campus. Thanks to all who participated in the response.


8:45 pm

Classes at the Gilroy campus will resume according to normal schedule on Wednesday, February 12.


2:48 p.m.

All evening classes and services on the Gilroy campus are cancelled for this evening. Classes in Morgan Hill, Hollister, online, and off-campus are not affected. Classes and services are expected to resume tomorrow. Please check back for updates before coming to campus.


2:40 p.m.

A broken water main flooded the Humanities Building and the surrounding area today resulting in cancelled classes. All classes in the Humanities Building and neighboring classroom Library 100 were cancelled due to the flooding.

photo of humanities building

Students and staff were notified through the college GavALERT system which was used to send out texts, phone calls, voice mails, and email. The messages were also posted on social media sites Facebook and Twitter.

Bathrooms across campus were rendered inoperable, and numerous "port-a-potties" brought in for temporary use. Campus Facilities had not determined a cause for the rupture as of this writing. 


12:13 pm


1)      2  at Student Center – behind the cafeteria

2)      2 between the Library south and the /math building

3)      2 between Library and Humanities

4)      2 APE and Gym

5)      2 between Business and Cosmetology

6)      1 at golf course

7)      1 at Maint & security

8)      1 behind HR

9)     2 at GECA

11)     1 at PB 6


11:56 a.m.

All classes meeting in Library 100 (LI 100) are also cancelled for today.


11:36 a.m.

All classes meeting in the Humanities Bldg have been CANCELLED for the rest of the day. All other classes are still in session. Port-A-Potties are on the way, and will be set up on Sycamore Lane shortly. There are currently two Port-A-Potties available at the ball fields. Check the Gavilan College website for updates.


10:20 am:

Port-A-Potties are on the way. They will be set up along Sycamore Lane


10:05 am:

Update from Student Health:

Dear Colleagues,

As the campus is continuing to be open without water or bathroom flushing capability-Please remember there are wall dispensers in each area for sanitizer hand soap. If you need individual towelettes for your work area, please let me know now.

Sincerely, Alice

Alice Dufresne-Reyes, MS, PHN

College Health Nurse

Student Health Coordinator


9:57 a.m.

GavALERT: There is a broken water main on the Gilroy campus: Child Development Center is closing for the day. The Humanities Building is closed; classes there will be redirected, and signs will be posted on the building. The campus remains open and classes are in session. Update to follow.

Last modified: August 17, 2011
Gavilan College Red Diamond 5055 Santa Teresa Boulevard Red Diamond Gilroy, CA 95020 Red Diamond (408) 848-4800