Broken water line shuts down school

By Jean Volz

Conditions were less than sanitary Thursday morning at Huntley Middle School in DeKalb.

Gerald Bever, water superintendent of DeKalb, said the four- inch drinking water line leading into the school was broken by contractors working outside.

According to a statement released Thursday by Bill Sanders, principal of Huntley Middle School, the damage occurred at approximately 9:15 a.m. Thursday morning.

Bever, who was on the site, said the school was shut down at that time in order to repair the line-break.

Sanders’ statement cited the unsanitary condition of the building as a factor in the early release of the children.

Bever said since the broken water line was on private property there was not a need for the DeKalb Water Department to service the school.

Therefore, Bever said, the contractors had the primary responsibility for repairing the line.

Despite this fact, Bever said the Water Department did assist in the repairs.

According to Bever, his department assisted the contractors by helping shut down the water lines and providing repair materials.

The water department’s repair materials were utilized by the contractors because of the proximity of the stock, in addition to the time aspect involved with the mending, he said.

Bever said following the complete flushing out of the lines connected to the school, which occurred after 1 p.m., he and Huntley’s custodial engineers turned the water on inside the school.

Next, Bever and his laboratory supervisor took water samples to test for contamination.

He said they conducted both chlorine residual and bacteriological tests on the water as precautionary measures.

According to Bever, samples were taken from water fountains, sinks and the kitchen.

He said the chlorine residual tests showed there was no bacteria present in the water at Huntley.

Bever said bacteriological tests were conducted on each of the three different levels of the school building.

The first tests were on the water outlets in the cafeteria, which is located on the lower level of the school. The second and third tests were conducted in the library and the science departments, which are located on the second and third levels, respectively.

“The results from the bacteriological tests will be available before school opens (Friday),” he said.

According to a press release issued from the DeKalb Community Unit School District No. 428 late Thursday afternoon, the school will open as usual Friday morning.