Offensive smell temporarily closes art classroom


Photo Credit: Jason Messenbrink

A sewage backup led classroom C-131 being closed for a few hours.

by Jason Messenbrink, Staff Writer

It was a familiar, unwelcome stench for Ms. Nicole Rusin’s art classes, who were forced to leave their classroom once again following a sewage overflow in her art wing classroom on April 27.  

The pungent odor was a result of a back-up in the waste line, causing the sewage to overflow and leak into the classroom.  The result was a murky pool of liquid and a noxious smell.

Ms. Sandy Marinos, the interim Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds, explained that the backup occurred due to the design of the pipes.

“There are some areas in the pipe that have low points and it is not allowing things to flow through as it is supposed to do,” Marinos said.

Although many students thought the smell to be a result of a leak, what actually happened is better defined as a clog in the waste lines.

The clog was first thought to have developed from clay from the projects in room C-131. The cause of the backup was not the actual clay, however. There are clay traps underneath of the sink drains underneath that capture most of the clay and allow the finer pieces to flow through the pipes.

“Students do an excellent job of keeping clay from going down the drain,” Marinos said.

It was the waste line pipe that was causing the problem.  Marinos said that there were some “low points” in the pipe, causing problems with the consistency of the flow.

Many of the potential consequences of the overflow were mitigated by both luck and preparation.

“I was actually walking by the classroom at the same time so we were able to jump right on it,” Marinos said.

As soon as faculty members noticed the backup, they had students go to another location. They also called in a sewage company to clear the clog.

At this point, the pipes are operable but may need further work in the future.