Students innovate during recent water break


Mikayla Schnell

Art Teaching Techniques students melt snow for cleanup after a water main break.

Leah Ulatowski, Editor-in-Chief

Lakeland College experienced water main breaks on Nov. 25 and Dec. 1, which resulted in boiled/bottled water advisories, temporary water shutdowns for maintenance purposes and requests that on-campus residents and employees living on Prof Row forego showers in order to preserve water pressure for toilets. Despite the circumstances, the Art Teaching Techniques class created its own water for cleanup by melting snow with blow-dryers.

“(Associate Professor of Art) Bill Weidner came up with the idea because we needed water to clean up our supplies, and at the time it was shut off,” said Mikayla Schnell, sophomore early childhood education major.

The students braved the elements to collect snow in large plastic buckets and brought it back inside the classroom. Armed with pink and blue hairdryers, the students began the long process of melting down the ice, but not without a few hurdles.

According to Schnell, the circuit breaker in the room tripped several times due to the multitude of blow-dryers. Additionally, it took considerable time to melt just enough water for cleanup.

“However, in the end, everything worked out and we were able to clean up our things,” Schnell said.

Prior to the two recent breaks, Lakeland College last experienced an underground pipe break on May 14. The bottled/boiled water advisory for the most recent break was lifted on Dec. 2, but students may still notice a harmless slight brownish color to the water, which is the result of rust deposits caused by the break.

According to campus-wide email releases, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources requires the college to provide two consecutive safe water samples over a 24-hour period before an advisory can be lifted. In every recent case of a water main break, including the one in May, the water samples have tested negative for Coliform bacteria, which are indicators that other more harmful bacteria may be present.

Prior to the advisory being lifted, Lakeland College provided free water bottles to as many individuals on campus as possible.