Tolman Hall water temporarily suspended, students report discolored water after restoration

Students said the outage was disruptive and added to alleged pre-existing maintenance issues in Tolman.



The courtyard adjacent to Tolman Hall, as photographed on Aug. 28, 2022. (Hustler Multimedia/Arianna Santiago)

Rachael Perrotta, Editor-in-Chief

The Office of Housing and Residential Experience notified Tolman Hall residents this morning at approximately 10:15 a.m. CST that the building would be without water until “further notice.” A second notice was sent at approximately 1:30 p.m. CST stating that water had been restored.

Tolman RA Seriol Kumabong, a junior, stated that water came out of the sink brown when he used it this afternoon prior to the second email notice. Junior Ben Brittan, also a Tolman resident, stated that the water came out brown for about an hour after it was turned back on, but expressed gratitude for how the outage was handled in a timely manner. 

“I’ll be waiting a couple more hours before using it,” Kumabong said.

Tolman Hall houses 102 students, and all residents of neighboring Cole Hall, which houses approximately 120 students, use the building’s laundry facilities. OHARE’s first email stated that the “emergency” outage was purposely initiated to repair a leak. In an email to The Hustler, a university representative stated that no rooms were affected by the leak, which was caused by a burst pipe. 

“Please allow the water to run for a few seconds to clear sediments in the line before use,” the second email reads.

Junior Alex Cho, a Tolman resident, said the outage was “disruptive” and that the first email notice did not give sufficient warning. Similarly, Kumabong said the water was off in the building before the email was sent, adding that he had to use water from his Brita water filler to brush his teeth this morning. Brittan similarly said he was not able to shower or brush his teeth before his classes today.

“Considering how much housing and tuition costs, it’s quite frustrating to not have such a basic necessity,” Brittan said. 

Tolman resident Ryan McKew, another junior, said the outage was frustrating and was in addition to alleged pre-existing maintenance problems in Tolman. Brittan echoed McKew’s sentiments, stating that Tolman needs renovations.

“The water in the showers was already very inconsistent with pressure and temperature to begin with,” McKew said. “I definitely have noticed water coming from the water fountains not being clear [before the outage].”

Sana Fatah, a sophomore resident of Cole, said the water outage added to the inconvenience of Cole residents having to go to Tolman to do their laundry. 

“This makes it even more inaccessible,” Fatah said. “Basic necessities like water need to be more reliable.”