Apr 02, 2020

Where the water goes after the balloon fight

Danielle Gilbert/The Collegian

As journalists we are told to question everything, to take nothing at face value. So when word got around that the Marketing 188 class was attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the largest water balloon fight, we did just that.

We spoke with deputy chief of the Fresno Fire Department, professor of marketing Dr. William Rice, the equestrian unit, Plant Operations, the Save Mart Center, University Communications and water specialists because it seemed that the cross-media marketing scheme was the largest waste of money, time and water.

On Wednesday, April 13, 2011, the FFD crew hooked up the fire engine hose to the Save Mart Center hydrant. Water was drawn from the Fresno State well and traveled through the hydrant into the hose line toward a PVC pipe. The PVC pipe carried water out the eye of a garden hose and into the mouth of a water balloon.

More than 150,000 balloons will break today at 5:30 p.m. According to Robert Boyd, associate vice president for facilities management, the unfiltered runoff will empty into the SMC parking lot drains and travel to the SMC Basin. Plant Ops will conduct a full balloon sweep post water war.

There are four basins that serve Fresno State: the SMC Basin, the Farm Basin, the Bullard Basin and the Stadium Basin.

“The SMC Basin is the runoff destination for the east side of the campus,” Boyd said. “All three basins feed into the Stadium Basin, which eventually feeds into the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District.”

Water will evaporate into the air and a small amount of groundwater will seep into the earth at Leaky Acres Pond, located north of the SMC parking lot, and recharge the university’s underwater tables.

At the end of the day, it seems that the only people who would be breaking the record for the biggest waste of time was us.

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