|Browns locker room being renovated after flood caused by plumbing problem|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 25 July 2007 11:51|
Old pipes in Cleveland's water system are largely to blame, city and stadium officials said Wednesday. Iron deposits flaked off the inside of the pipes and clogged toilet valves, causing a 160,000-gallon holding tank - necessary for when thousands of fans go to the restrooms at halftime - to overflow.
``Picture a waterfall,'' said Carl Meyer, Browns vice president of security and logistics.
That water was combined with some sewage from the plumbing system, Meyer said. The Browns have hired a lab to take air samples to make sure the areas are safe before the stadium is reopened.
The overflow left 6 inches of water in the locker rooms and lower service level of the stadium, including food service areas.
Browns spokesman Bill Bonsiewicz, speaking over the roar of an enormous machine removing humidity from the locker room area, reiterated that the stadium will be ready for the Browns' first preseason game Aug. 11 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Officials initially believed an 8-inch water pipe located under the team shop - the main supply of water to the 72,000-seat stadium - caused the problem.
To fix the problem, Cleveland director of utilities Julius Ciaccia said the city will flush the pipes, scrape out the iron deposits and line the inside of the pipes with cement, as has been done with other pipes in the city that date to before the 1950s. The city also will give the stadium a second connection into the water system.
Those repairs and improvements will cost the city about $120,000 and be done during a three-week span in late October when the Browns have an off week and play an away game.
``I'm real happy we don't have to tear up any internal parts of the stadium,'' Ciaccia said.
No dollar estimate was given on removing the standing water and replacing plumbing and interior fixtures. In the Browns' spacious locker room, the carpet, wood lockers and ceiling all had to be replaced. The only thing left in the barren room were televisions mounted on the walls.
Browns chief administrative officer Lew Merletti said it was too soon to determine how much would be covered by insurance.