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In October, 1981 the double-walled
liner was in place and we started filling the pool with ultra-pure
water. At a depth of 11 feet the expected signals from cosmic ray
muons looked good. However some small leaks developed and the water
was emptied in order to make repairs on the liner.
In January of 1982 we started to refill,
but at a depth of 13 feet a new large leak developed. We needed
to rethink the problem of how to contain this much water. A scheme
was devised to support the liner by pouring low-density concrete
on the outside at the same rate the water was introduced on the
inside. This was a slow process but it worked well and the full
70 foot depth was reached in July, 1982.
At that point all of the electronics
and the data acquisition computers were in place. We started
to record our first events.
Even though the detector was 1900 feet
underground, cosmic ray muons went through at a rate of three per
second. Since our design goal was to identify as few as one proton
decay per year we needed to find one needle in a haystack of
100 million muons.
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