July 25, 2021

Broken water pipe causes damage to UM building

ORONO — A broken water pipe in a University of Maine science building has caused more than $10,000 worth of damage to laboratories and equipment.

The pipe, in a second-floor laboratory in Murray Hall, froze and broke sometime last Thursday, New Year’s Day, and was discovered Friday morning. By then, water had damaged walls and equipment on the first floor and basement of the building that houses the zoology department as well as fish and wildlife research facilities.

The pipe froze because a window was left open.

University spokesman Joe Carr said damage was estimated at $10,000 to $20,000. No chemicals were spilled by the flooding waters and no laboratory animals were injured. Most of the damage was confined to laboratory equipment, primarily computers, Carr said.

Cleanup of the area was completed by the weekend but many faculty members and researchers were still away on holiday break so an inventory of damaged equipment continued this week.

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