BREAKING: Sprinkler bursts near library, temporarily drenches walkway

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Shiv Deokar

Students look on as the sprinkler sprays others exiting the library. “I was very surprised, of course, you don’t really see that kind of thing every day,” said Richie Amarillas (12), who was outside the library when the pipe burst. “When I looked outside I just thought it was raining because it was supposed to rain today, but no, it was a sprinkler.”

by Shiv Deokar, Sidak Sanghari, Grant Yang, and Felix Chen

Additional reporting by Sabrina Zhu, Sally Zhu, Arjun Barrett and Isha Moorjani. 

This is a developing story. Check back on harkeraquila.com for more updates. 

A sprinkler head outside the upper school library burst due to a damaged pipe this morning before first period, causing water to spew out around the library’s entrance, according to groundskeeper Urdelin Justo. 

“I was very surprised, of course, you don’t really see that kind of thing every day,” said Richie Amarillas (12), who was outside the library when the pipe burst. “When I looked outside I just thought it was raining because it was supposed to rain today, but no, it was a sprinkler.”

Shortly after the leak, Justo arrived with another staff member and temporarily blocked the leak with a rock, and then a trash can, to give time for repairs. No damage was done to the surrounding areas in the orchard or near the library, and the water released was clean water intended for irrigation. The library entrance remains open at this time, and the sprinkler is now repaired.

A member of the repair team, José Hernandez, worked throughout first period to fix the damaged sprinkler. 

“[It happened] because they were working with a [shovel] around here, with the very low pipes, which caused them to break,” Hernandez said. 

According to Justo, these malfunctions generally only happen when the grounds team is working on the sprinkler system. 

“This type [of sprinkler system is] only a half-foot underground,” Justo said. “So sometimes, when we try to maintain [the grounds], we hit it with [a shovel]. We don’t know [for sure, but] this is a problem we have had before.”

Harker Aquila’s interview with José Hernandez was originally conducted in Spanish and translated to English.

Holding a wrench in his left hand, Urdelin Justo bends over to inspect the burst sprinkler just outside the library. To give time for repairs, he temporarily blocked the leak with a rock, and then later with a trash can. (Felix Chen)