Why wasn’t there a water leak detection system on the state of the art City Center building?

Maybe it was a ‘Human Error’ like the tornado sirens?

The mayor’s office confirmed Monday that a cap on a water line for a water cooler in the second floor of the 18-month-old city administration building failed, causing between 750 and 1,000 gallons of water to flood the southeast corner of the building’s second floor before it was noticed.

So now we have the HVAC system litigation in limbo with the CMAR (Construction Manager at Risk) who may be responsible for installing a geo thermal system that didn’t work. Now we have a major water leak, with no viable detection system.

So why on earth would we want to hire the same CMAR to expand the IT department in the building?! 

It would be like hiring the same plumber to install a bathtub after he installed a leaky toilet. NO private homeowner would do such a thing, so why would the city?



11 comments ↓

#1 Jimmy Doxx on 09.30.19 at 9:03 pm

If killing a person doesn’t disqualify you for city projects, I can’t imagine a few gallons of water would even be worth noting.

#2 "'Extremely' Stable Genius" on 09.30.19 at 9:30 pm

It could have been worse, but most likely Metro only turned on some of the late night water lines, huh?

( – and Woodstock ponders: “I miss the good old days, when all we worried about was protecting the Mayor’s office Cokes.”)

#3 anominous on 09.30.19 at 9:42 pm

Yes, remember this $20M building was needed because the city engineers had too much humidity in their old workspace.

#4 Stop the Funding on 10.01.19 at 7:54 am

Brings back memory of Jeff Schmidt telling us about the urine flowing down the walls of his basement office in City Hall

#5 D@ily Spin on 10.01.19 at 9:23 am

Maybe they should move into the building down the block. The one that was available with a cheap lease before they built this boondoggle. There were a lot of construction corner cuts. Obviously, Construction Manager at Risk doesn’t work because everything is an escape hatch.

#6 D@ily Spin on 10.01.19 at 9:30 am

“A boondoggle is a project that is considered a waste of both time and money, yet is often continued due to extraneous policy or political motivations.”

Admin Building – CHECK
Parking Garage – CHECK
State Theater – CHECK
Aquatic Center – CHECK
Orpheum Theater- CHECK
Washington Pavilion – CHECK

#7 MK on 10.01.19 at 12:29 pm

I’d be willing to bet the CMAR made a recommendation to have a water leak detection system and one of the geniuses in either engineering or finance denied it because it was too expensive.

Then, they gave themselves a big pat on the back for all the money they saved.

The city finance department is one of the most “penny-wise but dollar-foolish” I’ve ever seen, and the engineering department doesn’t approve add-ons so there’s extra funds they can award to former employees who now work for the engineering and construction firms who got the contract.

Blatant corruption and no one does anything about it.

#8 LJL on 10.01.19 at 11:15 pm

Water leak detection everywhere in commercial buildings would be ridiculous. I’ve not yet seen water leak detection in a non residential building. They’re very rare in homes and only installed around water heaters and water appliances. The new Smart flow leak meters are no applicable for large buildings. Data centers use sensors but only for warning not prevention.

Once again, you’re out of your element Donny.

#9 Bruce on 10.03.19 at 7:58 am

A water chase would be a great spot for a water detection monitor? Three building floors with a couple of water chases would have added a few hundred dollars to the building cost.

Since we found out the construction manager at risk contracts have never been closed there is another set of questions such as:
1. why was there no water detection system installed with security system
2. who will pay the clean-up
3. who will pay the building repair bill
4. who will pay for lost productivity
5. who will pay for paperwork destroyed
6. who will pay for the lost equipment ruined by water
7. who will pay for the lost computer equipment

The last administration cut so many corners so the building could be built fast to meet the end of term party deadline, how many more of these surprises will we get in the future?

#10 LJL on 10.05.19 at 2:12 pm

Water chases built info buildings for water leak detection? Huh?

It’s bizarre how you people need find a villain for everything. A water line broke. The end.

#11 Alarmed on 10.12.19 at 8:08 pm

I would have thought any passage water could run down would be a place that smoke, heat and fire could go up. Apparently I mistakenly thought all the places where smoke, heat and fire could go up had to be plugged to pass fire inspection.

Contary to LJL’s ipse dixit statements there are quite a few manufacturers of systems which integrate into the various environmental building alarms and either alarm or shut down the water. Those systems are manufactured because water damage from building systems is one of the larger risks faced by commercial buildings. I suspect the lack of detection in this building is more a case of the City having management that are not really managing risk using data since that would require expertise and hard work and an insurance carrier that does not adjust premiums according to actuarial risk since that would require expertise and hard work. Or maybe the various “professionals” working for the City tried to do the right thing and were blocked by the patronage needs of the machine. I await enlightenment.

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