Water line hit outside Worth Hills

Most sprinklers don’t shoot 40 feet in the air.That was the case Monday morning, however, when construction workers hit an irrigation line in the Worth Hills area just outside of the Kappa Alpha Theta house, spilling water for about 10 minutes.

“It was just shooting as tall as the house,” said Whitney Freeman, a sophomore nursing major and member of Kappa Alpha Theta. “It was pretty high up there.”

Rex Bell, assistant director of mechanical maintenance for the Physical Plant, said Brandt Engineering workers were digging for two new chill water lines to run between Wiggins and Beckham-Shelburne halls when they hit the irrigation line, causing the water to spring up about three feet away.

Because the break happened shortly after 9 a.m., pressure was built up in the line due to low water usage, Bell said.

“I had never seen one shoot that high…” Bell said.

Bell said when digging in rock, it is easy to hit something and not know it. With all the construction going on, Bell said, accidents like these have happened a lot less than expected.

“Out here at TCU, there are so many utilities in the ground,” he said. “You can’t put a shovel in it without hitting something.”

When a new line is being dug, Bell said, workers use detectors to find where existing lines are, but that information can be inaccurate.

“If you get within three feet of one you’ve done well,” Bell said.

The accident caused about $400 in damage, Bell said, which will be paid by the contractors. Brandt Engineering did not return phone calls for comment about the incident.

Bell said the accident does not have a large impact on the construction and workers will probably go in Saturday to make up lost work.