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Brown Hall on residential South Green endures a disruptive leak inside the dorm.

Brown Hall residents react to recent leak, report maintenance interference with day-to-day life

After a plumbing issue in Brown Hall led to what residents described as “brown water” and a potent smell, the issue was attributed to a cracked cast-iron drainpipe.

Carly Leatherwood, a university spokesperson, said the fourth-floor shower drain leaked into a pipe chase on the third floor. This resulted in ceiling damage and a water-soaked floor in the lobby of the hall. 

Ohio University has since fixed all issues related to this drain leak in the hall, Leatherwood said. The ceiling tiles were replaced, and the leak was fixed Sept. 15. The water-soaked area was cleaned Sept. 16. 

Addy Benn, a freshman studying psychology, said the water leaking out in the hall smelled “horrible” and compared it to sewage. 

“When we would flush the toilets or run the showers, it would kind of pour out of the wall,” Benn said. “It was really disgusting. It wasn't (clean) water. It was like brown water.” 

Molly Gray, a freshman studying psychology who lives on the second floor of Brown, said the smell is how she first discovered the issue. 

“There’s two ways to get in: you can go towards the dorm rooms, or you can just go towards the lounge,” Gray said. “If we would go toward the dorm rooms, it would smell.”

Alexis Rohrer, a freshman studying integrated English and language arts, said at first when she saw puddles in the parking garage, she thought it might just have been rainwater.

“But then, one day, I walked in, and it was leaking on the first floor,” Rohrer said. “They had trash cans under it. It was horrible and soaking through the carpet.”

Rohrer said she did not know when the maintenance was occurring, either. 

“It made it a little hard to take showers because they were doing maintenance on each of the floors on a different day,” Rohrer said. “And before it reached my floor, the maintenance was actually really loud and distracting, so it woke me up multiple times, and I was trying to get a nap in before my class and do some of my homework.”

She said when they did get to fixing her floor, the bathrooms were closed to resolve the issue, and the residents had to go to other floors to shower. All in all, she said she mostly just tried her best to ignore it.

“I just feel bad for everyone else who had to deal with that a little more than I did,” Rohrer said.  

Gray agreed the damage had at least appeared to be cleaned up and, for the most part, no longer affects the hall.  

“I mean, the hallways still kind of smell bad,” she said. “But I don't see the giant puddle on the ground anymore.”


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