Campus Water Main Fixed But Testing Still Underway

Aug 28, 2014

The broken water main under Southeast Missouri State University is now repaired. Crews finished repair work at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 27.

The crews connected alternative water main sources to the campus and its residential neighbors.

Currently, the line cannot be activated.  City officials are testing water samples to be approved by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, which could take until late Friday or early Saturday.  

The water will remain at its current pressure until that time.

Cape Girardeau’s Director of Public Works, Tim Grambling said the water pressure never dropped so low that the water was undrinkable. The water has been and still is safe to drink.

The water main broke sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.  The university closed Wednesday afternoon for the remainder of the week, due to the collapse.

The cause of the collapse remains undetermined.  

The water main was installed in 1949. Grambling said a pipe this old could have collapsed for several reasons.  

“Basically you could tell the pipe, after we took it out, you could see where it had fatigued and collapsed on one side,” Grambling said. “As far as the exact cause, it’s probably anything, more than anything else just time and age.

He said it may be beneficial to move the water main in the future.

“It probably would be a good idea to plan to take this water line around their facility there, so that’s what complicated the repair a little bit in the fact that it was in an area that was a kind of tight as far as getting in to fix it,” Grambling said.

He plans to sit down with the university and take a look at their master plan for the facilities.  

The campus will reopen and classes will resume on Tuesday, Sept. 2.