Electronic glitch a possible reason for water tower issues

Photo provided by Brandon Head

Brandon Semler, News Writer

Though no solid evidence has been summoned pinpointing the exact reason for the low water pressure that deprived Wright State campus of clean water from Oct. 14 to Oct. 16, the issue could have formed from an electronic communication glitch, according to Physical Plant Manager Jeff Trick.

An electronic control in the Wright State water tower measures the height of the water and transmits information through a radio signal to the pumping station, which is located below the Campus Services building. That electronic report signals the pumps to either turn on or off, depending on how much water is in the tower. If that signal had a glitch, the pumps would not be informed as to how much water was needed.

“Radio transmission is not all that reliable,” Trick said. “Could that have been the potential glitch? Possibly.”

If the radio signal was the reason for the water tower struggles, Trick is determined to not let it happen again. The remedy would be simple; replace a radio signal with something more dependable.

“We’re looking at changing that out, so we go away from any type of radio transmitted signal,” said Trick. “What we’re looking at now is extending data cable to the tower, and putting the tower on the Wright State Network so that we can hardline that control signal down to the pumps.”

Trick also said that the cause of the most recent boil advisory was completely separate from those of the past year that occurred before and during the pipe replacement project. To those students worried about Wright State water, Trick said that boil advisories are a conservative precaution meant to protect the students.

“The local code says that once we loose pressure in one building, we need to go on a boil advisory,” Trick said. “We weren’t sure which buildings lost pressure and which [had not], so to be absolutely cautious we aired on the conservative side and put the entire campus on boil advisory.”

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