Big dig means big bill as MUN tries to fix water main break outside residence

Roughly 1,000 students who live on campus at Paton College in St. John's are getting their water from hydrants because of a broken pipe in the main system.

Students in Paton College getting water from hydrants while repairs continue outside

Repair crews were digging outside Paton College on Wednesday after a leaky pipe developed into a full blown break. (Marilyn Boone/CBC)

Memorial University will have to dig deep to pay for a water main break on its St. John's campus.

Crews are working to repair the break outside Paton College, a network of residences built in the 1960s, in a job the university says could cost up to $150,000.

Roughly 1,000 students who live in the residences, and the complex's dining hall, are getting their water through hoses connected to fire hydrants.

Those living at the newer Macpherson College are not affected by the break.

A spokesperson for MUN told CBC News on Wednesday that city crews discovered a minor leak in August with their sounding equipment.

"The initial plan was to do repairs while students were gone for Christmas break, but the leak deteriorated to the point where we had to initiate the repair last week," Dave Sorensen wrote in an email response.

A backhoe was digging in the residence square Wednesday, and at least one of the old trees in the area had been cut down to facilitate the work.

The university said it hopes to have water turned back on by Thursday, and that the grounds, sidewalk and planters would be back in place within the next week.