North Texas Daily

Construction crews repair valve on gas pipe outside Kerr

Construction crews repair valve on gas pipe outside Kerr

Construction crews repair valve on gas pipe outside Kerr
November 15
08:43 2013

Joshua Knopp / Senior Staff Writer

After corrosion caused a gas leak that held residents without hot water for a day and a half, and another leak caused by construction crews while repairing the first, Atmos Energy repaired the valve just before 9 p.m. on Thursday.

The block of Eagle Street between Avenue A and South Avenue B was shut down on Thursday while crews repaired a valve that feeds into Kerr Hall’s gas line. The residence hall’s gas was supplied by a truck feeding directly into the line near where the break was Wednesday.

When repairing a gas line, the crews’ first priority is to shut off the supply of gas. After that, crews can repair the damaged line and then turn the gas back on. John Manganilla, Atmos’ public affairs representative for the Denton area, said after crews repaired Wednesday’s leak and turned the gas back on, another problem became apparent.

“When they pressured the line back up, they could tell there was an issue with the valve,” Manganilla said.

Kerr Hall employees said housing manager Betsy Warren asked them not to comment on the issue.

UNT facilities executive David Reynolds is new to UNT, but said that in a 30-year facilities management career he’s never seen this kind of sequence before.

“I’ve seen gas lines hit in construction projects. I’ve seen gas lines age out,” he said. “Where it starts to get uncommon is when the crew that comes in to fix the line damages the line in the process. I don’t think I’ve seen one like the chain we’ve had over the last few days at Kerr.”

Pre-business freshman Lauren Wolfe said she was irritated with the ongoing construction, but she’s glad the hot water is back.

“That was my biggest issue with it,” she said. She said the option of community showers, where students were supposed to go when the hot water was off, is awkward because of all the toiletries she would have to carry across campus.

Community service undeclared freshman Asiah Claiborne, who is from Denton, said she just went home when the water was off.

“We want discounts on our housing,” she said. “We’re paying more than we would for an actual apartment without this nonsense. I really love Kerr, but with all this trouble it’s not worth it.”

Feature photo: Atmos Energy workers repair the broken gas pipe behind Kerr Hall Thursday night. Photo by Harris Buchanan / Staff Photographer 

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