Pensacola Politics

More on broken sprinkler at Pensacola Airport

January 23, 2014

Reporters asked Mayor Ashton Hayward and City Administrator Colleen Castille about the broken sprinkler line that flooded the concourse recently. This is the written reply we received today from Airport Director Greg Donovan:

The exact cause of the recent pipe bust is still undergoing investigation by the insurance company. It will come down to either a defective pipe coupling or faulty installation. The fire sprinkler system is inspected weekly by a specialized company and Airport maintenance staff did have preparation meetings before the cold weather. Airport maintenance staff also conducted preventative tasks to prepare for the historic low temperatures for the terminal as well as the entire airport campus. While the system charged due to an outside sprinkler head failure, the cause for the flooding is that the coupling separated during a spike in water pressure.

The Airport is self-insured up to $100,000. That amount was paid to the restoration company hired for the initial clean up. The total damage is being estimated between $400,000 – $500,000. All expenses over the $100,000 are covered by insurance. Sprinkler system repairs are estimated at $200,000. Elevator repairs are estimated at $40,000. Engineering services, drywall, insulation, painting, flooring, and additional cleaning expenses make up the remaining estimated balance of $260,000. Payments will be made to the contractors from the insurance company. Further inspections of the entire pipe system are also being conducted after operational hours and this expense is also covered by insurance.

The sprinkler system was repaired, and returned to service, the same evening as the event. Work to remediate the water damage started immediately and specialized equipment was brought in to preserve the carpet. That equipment has now been removed. It will be several more weeks before contractors replace damaged drywall, insulation, ceiling panels, and trim. Contractors will also need to repair the service elevator and other sections of the pipe that were affected by the pressure spike.

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