School to close 2nd day to test safety of water

September 06, 2001|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Riverview Elementary School in Lansdowne will be closed for a second day today as officials try to determine whether the water inside the school is safe for drinking and hand washing.

The school was closed yesterday after officials determined Tuesday - the first day of classes - that the water inside the building was lacking chlorine, meaning harmful bacteria could be present, officials said.

Officials in Baltimore City, which provides water to the Baltimore County school, ran two sets of tests yesterday and said they should have results today. They flushed out fire hydrants in the area for eight hours yesterday morning and planned to flush them out again last night to get the chlorinated water running, said Robert H. Murrow, spokesman for the city's Department of Public Works.

"We will be overly cautious in a situation like this," he said.

The school underwent a $2.8 million renovation project during the summer, which included new plumbing and the installation of a sprinkler system. The water problem was detected Tuesday when the sprinkler system was being tested, said Charles A. Herndon, a spokesman for the school district.

The school used bottled water Tuesday for drinking and a disinfectant that needs no water for hand washing, he said. But Superintendent Joe A. Hairston decided late that day that the school should be closed while the investigation continued. Officials hope the school can reopen tomorrow.

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