What is the smell in JLSC?

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Posted Tuesday, November 18, 2008 - 4:50pm

If you have visited the northeast bathrooms on the top and bottom floors of the JLSC building, you may have encountered the foul odor that plagues students and staff since last fall.

A source, who wished to remain anonymous, familiar with the building discussed the issue, "The smell is SEWER smell and is sometimes so strong it smells like methane and comes up the halls to our offices ... It is often worse in the afternoon, but some days you walk in and can smell it from downstairs. We smell it every day ... "

The stench is not found in the CEUSA bathrooms, however, is confined to the book store, Gear Up, Student Support Services, financial aid and other offices.

Numerous reports have been made, the source explains, "I was told the appropriate thing was to contact facilities maintenance and they would fix the issues. We have been doing this for over a year and finally they got fed up with that and started a log of what the weather was like and rank the smell on a number system."

Frustration emanates on both sides, however, as facilities have tested numerous solutions to no avail. According to Sheila Burghardt, maintenance supervisor, some resolutions include, "Pumping the grease traps more often, installing longer vent piping on the roof vents to allow odors to dissipate, checking the manhole covers to ensure there is no contamination, add water in floor drains in restrooms, custodial rooms and mechanical rooms on a regular basis ... . [and] checking exhaust fans to make sure they are working properly."

Burghardt sites the poor construction of the building as the reason for the stench, but that doesn't make it easy to fix. On the north outside of the JLSC, giant fans recycle air in and out of the building. Many slotted manhole covers also exist near the fans, and maintenance has tried replacing these with solid covers to prevent sewage odor from seeping into the building.

After these, and other, attempts failed to stifle the stink, maintenance has the option of ordering a strong, expensive, chemical cleaner to put into the drains. The economic inconvenience of this option has made it a last resort, but one that can no longer be avoided.

Only time will tell if this solution will provide a much needed breath of fresh air for employees in the JLSC.

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