2011-05-21 / Schools

School superintendent explains waterline break decision

By Ron Thornton, Walnut Township Local Schools superintendent

On Monday, May 16 at approximately 10:00 a.m., a survey crew ruptured a water main that feeds the high school and elementary schools, along with several area homes.

School officials originally thought a repair could be made to the water line within a couple of hours, maybe a little longer. A decision was made to wait it out to see if the water could be turned back on by 1:00 p.m. Toilets were available at both sites that could be flushed by pouring water in the bowls, managed by adults, on an as needed basis. Bottled water was available in each building to be used when needed and hand sanitizers were available throughout the buildings. The cafeteria staff had already prepared the lunches for the day and the students could be fed, although a little earlier than normal.

At 12:55 p.m. it was clear that the buildings would not have water for the rest of the day, so the decision was made to send the students home early. The repairs and necessary checks to the system, both inside the buildings and outside, were made and both facilities were inspected and operable by 9:30 p.m.

School was open on a regular schedule on Tuesday, but the boil alert remained in effect until further notice. Commercial water was ordered and scheduled to be brought in for use by the staff and students, all toilets were operable, and again, hand sanitizers were available throughout the buildings.

We apologize for any inconvenience to the students, staff and parents regarding this entire situation. Certainly, with better hindsight and more accurate information, different decisions would have been made. We want to thank the Village of Millersport officials and staff for a quick response to our water main break.

As Superintendent of the Walnut Township Local School District, I take full responsibility for the decision to remain open on Monday and truly regret any problems that my decisions negatively impacted any student, staff member, or parent.

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