On April 13, a clogged waste pipe was reported at Hanson Middle School. Students were moved from the affected areas, picked up their materials for the day, and were dismissed from the auditorium, according to school officials.
“Facilities staff were on site as soon as the incident was reported.” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ruth Gilbert-Whitner. “They contained the water, placed cones in areas to avoid having students walk in contaminated areas, and cleaned areas as the source of the problem was being investigated.”
A build up of improperly disposed feminine hygiene products was determined to be the cause.
“After investigation, a blockage was removed from the pipe with a “roto-rooter” system,” Principal William Tranter told parents in an email blast April 14. “After the blockage was removed, Service Master came to HMS yesterday afternoon to address areas impacted by the overflow. SJ Services employees also assisted with cleaning floors.”
American Environmental has performed air quality testing and will continue to do so as long as needed. Acting Hanson health inspector Vincent Flaherty visited Hanson Middle School and indicated that the response to the waste pipe issue was appropriate.
“I am satisfied with the immediate and corrective action taken by the school,” Flaherty wrote in his inspection report dated Wednesday, April 15.
“We are awaiting the official air quality report from American Environmental; their preliminary report indicates that there was no contamination in the swabs collected at HMS,” Gilbert-Whitner said. “During the vacation week, affected carpet and tiles are being replaced and all four bathrooms are being completely sanitized.”
The lockers were removed to allow the area behind them to dry out, according to Tranter. Students in one of the classrooms were moved to another area of HMS until moisture issues are addressed and Paramount Rug evaluated the carpeted areas.
“In the past, when there have been flooding issues at HMS (a bubbler leaked several years ago), carpets are replaced with floor tiles,” Tranter said.