Broken Pipe Floods at the Bonneville County Historical Society

Flooded Building at Bonneville County Historical Society

On December 26, 1998 a coupler sleeve on the fire suppression system located in the attic of the Bonneville County Historical Society froze and broke. The system had been inadvertently charged with water and during the cold winter froze causing the coupler to fail. The three-inch pipe sent five hundred gallons per minute of water cascading through the three-story museum. The water ran for approximately forty-five minutes, flooding the museum and its contents with approximately 22,500 gallons of water. Mike Davis with All American Cleaning was on site within thirty minutes of receiving the call for assistance.

The museum had many priceless and one-of-a-kind artifacts on display. Due to the delicate nature and age of the artifacts and displays, AACR monitored the drying process several times a day, including weekends and holidays, to make sure we had a balanced drying system (to avoid over drying was as important as under drying). Using high velocity air movers and refrigerant dehumidifiers was important. Additionally, HEPA filters and an open air drying system were used where appropriate to control the relative humidity and temperature to bring the museum and its contents back to a dry balanced state without causing further damage by drying too quickly.

The entire drying process took about four weeks. The repairs to the Idaho Falls museum took approximately six months. Due to the efforts of the historical society's staff and All American Cleaning & Restoration staff, only about $10,000 worth of retail merchandise was lost. All artifacts and collectibles were restored to their prior state.

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