Burst Sewer Line Briefly Leaves Morgan Hall Residents Without Water


Photo Courtesy of Sarah Mash ’25

On the night of Tuesday, Jan. 24, a sewer line broke near the foundation of Morgan Hall, the second-largest residence hall on campus, prompting facilities personnel to turn off water on the south side of the building for about 18 hours. 

Associate Vice President for Campus Operations Kristen Kostecky said, “The campus infrastructure is aging and breaks due to things like tree limbs occurs from time to time.” She confirmed that the water was turned off to prevent students from taking showers or flushing toilets while the break was being repaired.

The Residence Life office sent an email to Morgan Hall residents at 5:23 PM on Tuesday, informing them of the shut-off. A later message at 7:17 PM said that water would be offline in the south wing of the building until repairs could be made. Morgan residents were temporarily granted key card access to Malcolm Hall, so that they could use facilities there until their own were repaired.

Communication about the plumbing situation was complicated by the school’s spam detection system, which flagged the original messages regarding the water shut-off as phishing emails, preventing them from being delivered to some students. 

Kamila Gabdyzhamalova ’23, a resident advisor in Morgan Hall, told The Dickinsonian that she “only found out about the water outage from [her] roommate who was washing her hands at that time.” 

Water use was fully restored to the residence by 11:30 AM on Wednesday, when facilities management completed their repairs. Several students reported lingering problems, such as clogged or constantly flushing toilets, but within the day most issues were resolved.

Older residence halls at Dickinson have had a number of plumbing issues in recent years, most notably in Feb. 2021 when flooding caused by a burst pipe forced more than 80 residents of Drayer Hall to relocate to High Street Residence. Drayer, which was built three years before Morgan Hall, is currently undergoing renovations. 

Kostecky said that the college is “looking at improving the ventilation system in Morgan,” but that a “major renovation similar to Drayer is not being planned at this time.”