More student housing apartments see discolored water issues

Students in Hilltop Apartments at the University of Connecticut began their morning on Tuesday with the unsettling sight of brown water coming out of their faucets. Despite this fact, some students still used the water to shower, brush their teeth and even make their coffee.

“I used the water to make my coffee and it tasted great,” Lily Skou, a UConn senior majoring in physics and human rights and resident of the Novello Building in Hilltop, said.

Skou said she noticed the discolored water yesterday morning when she turned the bathroom sink on.

One student even sent in a photograph of a towel he used to dry himself off with after showering in his apartment, revealing clearly-visible brown stains on the towel.

Photos provided by an anonymous resident of Novello Hall in Hilltop Apartments show brown water in the sink and the bathtub. (Courtesy/Hilltop resident)

Photos provided by an anonymous resident of Novello Hall in Hilltop Apartments show brown water in the sink and the bathtub. (Courtesy/Hilltop resident)

“I noticed it around 9:00 this morning when I turned on the bathroom sink. I told my roommate who was about to take a shower and she said the shower water was also brown,” Skou explained.

Skou said her roommate, Aleksandra, called and requested a work order at 2 p.m. Maintenance staff was on the premises by 4 p.m. and the issue was promptly resolved, Skou said.

While residents have not been informed of what the exact cause of the problem was, Aleks said members of the maintenance staff visited all of the affected apartments and explained the situation. They told residents that they will be replacing the water heater within the next few days.  

“I learned that they have been working to replace the water heaters for the apartments and that they are still working to get Novello’s heater replaced,” Aleks said.

Student noticed the discolored water around 9 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 20, 2016. (Courtesy/Hilltop resident)

Student noticed the discolored water around 9 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 20, 2016. (Courtesy/Hilltop resident)

Skou says that this is an isolated incident for her, but other UConn students have experienced brown water in recent weeks, both at Cedar Ridge Apartments in Willington and Mansfield Apartments on the Storrs Campus.

“About two weeks ago I turned the water on in the bathroom sink and it came out brownish.” Himakshi Bhatt, a senior Biology major living in Mansfield Apartments, said. “We were pretty concerned since it was our drinking water, so we actually got some bottled water from a friend.”

While the water did return to running clearly a few days after students began requesting work orders, they were not given any official communications about what caused the temporary discoloration or how it was resolved.

“The problem was fixed, I just want to know what they did. We didn’t get any confirmation or anything telling us that the water would be fine.” Bhatt said.

This is also not the first time this has been a problem at Mansfield Apartments. Bhatt said her roommate had experienced similar problems with the water a few times last year when she was living in the apartment.

“I know a lot of Mansfield is old and it could definitely use some tune-ups,” Bhatt said.



Anna Aldrich is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at anna.aldrich@uconn.edu.