The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

    Leaking issues fixed over break

    By Mona Lisa Tucker/south news editor

    Over winter break, workers repaired leaks in a South Campus cooling tower.

    Director of system infrastructure and engineering David Hoelke and others discovered water accumulating in the west tunnel from the central utility plant.

    The standing water tested positive for chemicals from the cooling tower.

    “There are very low-dose chemicals in cooling tower water to prevent algae growth and to inhibit corrosion in the piping system,” Hoelke said. “These chemicals are used in very dilute concentrations. We changed to environmentally friendly chemicals many years ago. Considering the chemicals and low concentrations used, there is no concern.”

    The leaks were localized and intercepted by underground soil drains beneath the pipe break, Hoelke said

    The air conditioning system was shut down for repairs, but no one was affected because the buildings were empty.

    “The first part of the process was evaluating and assessing the problem,” Hoelke said. “It took us a couple of days to determine where the leaks were by going through multiple sets of old plans.”

    A process of deduction helped determine the leak locations. A contractor was brought in to do some pressure testing that pinpointed the problem.

    “From there, as we looked at the plans, it was very clear that there was a connection between what are called the soil drains,” Hoelke said. “These go around the building right near where this piping was, and it connected to the area by the tunnel. We ended up fixing several things.”

    The leaks were completely repaired after about six days of efforts.

    District master plumber Jimmy Reynolds said he coordinated the contractors who repaired the 40-year-old, 20-inch steel pipe.

    “We had to remove the pipe and install the new,” Reynolds said.

    Facility manager Mike Tankersley said he managed the process of the project over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, and he kept campus president Peter Jordan informed.

    “We had the plant up and running a little after lunch on Monday,” he said.

    Hoelke said the cooling towers were replaced in 1987, but the pipe that leaked was installed in 1966.

    Donate to The Collegian

    Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The Collegian