Failed gasket causes flooding in Dinwiddie Government Center

By: Michael Campbell | Twitter: @itsthesoup
Posted: January 18, 2020 | 1:45 p.m.

DINWIDDIE – A part failure in a first-floor restroom caused nearly roughly an inch of water to cover much of the floor near the county boardroom and support spaces at the Dinwiddie Government Center this month, resulting in crews having to remove molding and some fixtures to address the influx of water.

According to County Administrator Kevin Massengill, a gasket under a sink in the women’s restroom near the county boardroom and training space broke in half, causing water to spill from the space on Jan. 4, a Saturday. With the building being unattended until the following Monday, water began to spill out from the restroom and into the hallway, leading to the boardroom to as far as the health department offices near the building’s main entrance.

Much of the affected area was covered in “about 1 to 2 inches of water,” Massengill explained, adding the county brought in Servpro water restoration crews out of an abundance of caution to begin remediating the area, which included removing the crown molding and drilling holes into the wall behind that molding to allow the spaces behind the wall to air out.

Some of that water reached into the carpeted boardroom, where roughly an inch of water was found to have seeped into the room following the part failure, with crews performing similar work in the space, removing crown molding and working to let the spaces behind the walls air out.

Flooring had to be removed in one room along with molding in several others after a failed gasket on a women’s restroom sink caused a leak across the hall from the first-floor boardroom and several support and meeting spaces. While crews assessed the damage and cleaned up the water,  the building maintained normal operations. (Michael Campbell)

When asked, Massengill said they don’t believe electronic equipment housed in the room, like monitors, computers, and sound equipment used during meetings, were affected by the influx of water but he did say a floor electrical box that is typically covered by a podium for presenters was damaged.

“There was some water damage done but, while it was somewhat minor, it was significant enough that we had to address it,” he said. “Operations were never impacted. We stayed open the entire time and because it was on that side of the building, it lended itself pretty good to not affecting operations.”

As of press time, an estimate of the damage’s cost was not available but Massengill said the county’s insurance adjusters and the contractor will be talking as the county believes the flooding was caused “by a faulty piece that came loose.”

The incident comes nearly a year to the week Dinwiddie County began working out of the Dinwiddie Government Center after moving from the Pamplin Administration Building, now the home of Dinwiddie County Public Schools, in late Dec. of 2018. By January 1, 2019, the county’s government offices were largely operating out of the two-story, multi-million dollar facility.

Due to the damage and ongoing repairs, last week’s organizational meeting for the board of supervisors was held in the building’s smaller community room on the second floor. When asked, he said he expects the area, including the boardroom, to resume normal operations by January 21, the board’s next scheduled business meeting.

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