Construction Mishap Knocks Out Water At UH

Christin Wehrsig
Christin Wehrsig

(KHNL) -- University of Hawaii students got a lesson on the value of water, after a break in a water line on campus cut off service Thursday.

Christin Wehrsig walks up to a sink at her dorm and gets nothing. She's not alone. A construction mishap left one-quarter of the University of Hawaii Manoa campus, including all dormitories, without water for several hours.

"A lot of the students and residents like to carry bottled water in their room," Wehrsig, UH political science student, said. "But a lot of them are at the mercy of what's in the bathrooms sometimes or at the water fountains, and even to take a shower."

Workers are building two, 12-story towers that will provide 800 beds for students needing housing. But at about 10 Thursday morning,

"They hit an eight-inch water line that they weren't sure was there," Jim Manke, University of Hawaii, said. "Obviously, it was accidental, and they spilled about 400,000 gallons of water."

"There was water gushing down," Wehrsig said. "And it was only a light drizzle, so I knew it wasn't like a storm or anything."

The contractor told the University it took steps to protect nearby Manoa stream from the runoff. For now, you can add WATER to the list of NOs posted at the construction site.

"You can see how much we really appreciate having water," Wehrsig said.

The University says water service was restored at about 3:30 p.m.