By Natalie Adams
On Sunday, January 7th, a pipe burst at the AACPS Parham building due to the freezing temperatures. The water leak caused several applications to go down and schools throughout the county to be affected.
Bob Mosier, the AACPS Chief Communications Officer and the man behind the voice that calls to tell you when schools are closed, explained that the cap on a pipe, which happened to be above the area where the power supply units are stored, popped off due to the extremely cold temperatures. An AACPS employee, who had gone into the Parham building on Sunday for an unrelated reason, discovered the leak. If it had not been for this employee, the damage would have been much greater.
It had only been in the 20 degree range for about a week when the pipe cap popped off. It is fairly common for pipes to burst in such cold weather, but there is no fool-proof way to prevent it. Mosier explained that if a pipe had burst in practically any other part of the building, there would not have been an issue. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
Some of the applications that went down were telephones, internet, AACPS email, and Parent Connect. However, Mosier stated that there were many more internal programs that were affected by the pipe burst. The county was able to get the phones and internet working by Tuesday, but email and Parent Connect were not restored until around 8 a.m. on Friday. Some teachers at Arundel expressed concerns that the grade book would be wiped, but Mosier debunked this by explaining that the servers themselves were not damaged. It was only the power supply units that got water on them, so none of program data will be lost.
The reason the issue could not be fixed immediately was because the county had to wait for the new power supply units to be delivered. Once the new units arrived on Thursday morning, the technology division worked through the night to wire the new units, get the servers back online, and then turn everything back on. It was a multi-step process that had to be done in sequential order, which made it time consuming.
Thanks to the continuous work of AACPS employees and the cooperation of teachers, parents, and students, telephone service, internet access, AACPS email, and Parent Connect have all been restored.