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When junior Danielle Simpson’s roommate got sick last year in Benzing Res­i­dence she couldn’t use the toilet, take a shower, or even wash her hands. That’s because stu­dents say the water supply in Benzing shuts off every night, some­times for several hours.

“My roommate had the stomach flu at night and we had no water in the bathroom at all. Sorry for the gross stories but it’s true and gross,” she said.

Several Benzing res­i­dents have reported a problem with the water pressure in Benzing during early morning hours, usually between 2 and 4 a.m.

Admin­is­trators say there is nothing unusual about the dorm’s water system.

“Water is never shut off to any part of campus during oc- cupied times in the res­i­dences unless it is nec­essary to do so for repairs or con­struction,” said Timothy Wells, energy edu­cation spe­cialist. “The exception is when irri­gation systems get turned off during the winter.”

Some stu­dents think it may have some­thing to do with the water softener.

The water softener in Benzing must regen­erate every 24 hours, said senior Sarah Fiore, the dorm’s head res­ident as- sistant for the past three years. Fiore said regen­er­ation takes one hour — usually between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. — every night.

During that hour, women only have access to the water already in the pipes since the water softener pulls the rest of the water out of the system.

“This is normal oper­ating pro­cedure for this type of softener,” Fiore said. “We tell the girls at the beginning of the year and it has never been a big issue. Girls plan around it.”

The water softener has been in Benzing for the past eight years, ever since House Director Sue Abel took over, Fiore said.

The loss of water pressure gen­erally affects the rooms on dif­ferent floors at slightly stag­gered times throughout the regen­er­ation process.

Fiore said main­te­nance has assured her the system is working cor­rectly. She has only received two official com­plaints in her time as head RA and both were sub­mitted last year. She has not heard any com­plaints this year.

Benzing RA sophomore Morgan Linden said she has heard several com­plaints from women about the lack of water pressure at night. Even if water is not tech­ni­cally shut off, the effect is the same.

“I know [the water] doesn’t get turned off, but seri­ously, it pretty much does,” she said. “I’ve had times where not more than a few drops of water would come out of the drinking fountain or a faucet. A shower is a near impos­si­bility after 1:45 or 2-ish.”

Sophomore Rebekah Lind­strom said, “Our water [in Benzing] often turns off at night around 2 or 3 in the morning.”

As illus­trated by Simpson’s story, this seems to have been a problem for women last year as well.

“Last year in Benzing the water would some­times be turned off com­pletely during the night for a few hours and it was ter­rible,” junior Catherine Feeney said. “I couldn’t brush teeth, use the bathroom, or get a drink of water.”

Fiore said there are two future options: to get a new water-soft­ening system, or to change the time of the daily regen­er­ation. Main­te­nance can adjust the time for the regen- eration but Fiore said there is no reason.

“We haven’t had enough com­plaints to justify calling main­te­nance to change the time,” Fiore said.

She said pushing the regen­er­ation time back any later in the morning would start inter­fering with ath­letes who get up early for morning prac­tices.

“The girls work around it,” Fiore said. “Every building has its little quirks.”