Water main break forces WCSU students to drink bottled water while dealing with norovirus 

DANBURY - It has been a rough week for students at Western Connecticut State University.

Students and staff first dealt with a norovirus outbreak and now, they can't trust the tap water because of a massive water main break from Tuesday.

"It's just madness," said Sophomore Gabriella Pasquaonne.

Pasquaonne said luckily, she commutes to campus but for the past few days, she said going to class has made her nervous.

Most recently, the University has around 170 cases of the norovirus, an illness that brings up fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea.

Paul Steinmetz, the spokesman for the University said it is the first time he has ever seen anything like this.

"I've been here 12 years and we haven't had anything like this and people I've talked to who have been here for 30 years haven't heard it either," said Steinmetz.

According to the CDC, the key to preventing infection is frequent hand washing.

When the water main break happened on Tuesday, it forced the city to issue a boil water advisory. Students just got the notice Wednesday that they can shower on campus again, but are advised to not drink the water or cook with it.

"It is frustrating and stressful. It's the end of the semester. We would shut down the campuses in a second if we thought that students couldn't be safe or if there were unhealthy conditions," added Steinmetz.

The fire department helped pass more than 43,000 bottles of water Wednesday.

Students said the stress of having to go pick up bottled water has been an additional annoyance.

"A lot of them are ordering out. Our trash facility within the dorms is over piled with pizza boxes scattered all over the floor. No one really trusts the cafeteria," added Pasquaonne.

"They're not cancelling classes when students are getting sick and I feel like they're downplaying the situation.

The results should be released Wednesday afternoon and if the results come back as negative, students are safe to drink the tap water again.