Faulty urinal damages 3 floors of University of Kentucky office tower

An overflowing urinal has caused an undetermined amount of damage to three floors in the University of Kentucky's Patterson Office Tower.

A UK internal memo issued Thursday described damage on floors 2 and 3 as "significant," but noted it would have been worse if two employees hadn't reported the damage. The urinal that malfunctioned was on the fourth floor.

UK spokesman Jay Blanton said a cost estimate of the damage would not be available for a few days.

He said UK has been installing new urinal flush valves that use less water.

The Thursday incident apparently started because of a faulty automatic flusher, which stuck in the open position, causing flooding on the fourth floor. The water damaged the second, third and fourth floors of the tower, saturating ceiling tiles and carpet, and some computers and documents.

Blanton said UK had taken two steps: asking the manufacturer to examine the faulty urinal part "to determine if there are long-term issues," and in the short term dialing down the flow rate of water in the urinals.

"All urinals in the building, we believe, are operational at this time," Blanton said. "As most of the repair work has been done at night, our hope is that there has only been a minimal amount of interruption to service in the building at any one time."

Patterson primarily houses faculty offices and conference rooms — including many of the offices of the College of Arts and Sciences — although it also contains a mezzanine restaurant, and its 18th floor is the site of UK trustees meetings.