Water Problem At Downtown Condo Traced To Tampered Standpipe System

Incident Type
Water Leak
Saturday, November 3, 2018 - 7:36am
Saturday, November 3, 2018 - 7:40am
100 Block Wisconsin Avenue
Madison, WI

A water problem reported at the 100 Wisconsin Avenue condos over the weekend was traced to two tampered standpipes in a stairwell.

Engine Company 1 responded to the downtown high-rise on the Capitol Square after the automatic fire alarm in the building indicated a water flow problem. Firefighters found water flowing into the lobby and also in an elevator shaft. They also found water flowing down one of the stairwells.

Half the crew went to shut off the standpipe system as others went to search for the source of the problem.

Standpipes serve as connection points for firefighters in need of an interior water supply during a fire. They’re often located in stairwells of high-rise buildings and allow firefighters to connect a hose line inside the building before attacking a nearby fire.

A resident on the 5th floor reported “a lot of water” in the hallway, and as firefighters made their way to a second stairwell they found a much worse situation. A tampered standpipe was found on an upper level, where water was gushing from the pipe. One firefighter placed a plug into the pipe to stop the water flow until the system was shut down. A second tampered standpipe was found several floors down, which firefighters were also able to cap off.

Building maintenance and the building’s contracted fire protection company were shown where the problems were. The standpipe system remained out of service until the proper components of the tampered piping could be replaced.

Witnesses did not report seeing anybody tampering with the standpipe system prior to reporting the water problems.

Posted 11/05/2018 - 7:52am

Cynthia Schuster (Public Information Officer)