Sewage backup creates problems on first snow make-up day in Penn Hills
A sewage backup at Washington Elementary caused an afternoon headache for Penn Hills School District officials on Monday.
On the first of what will now be five make-up days following Tuesday's weather-related closure, superintendent Thomas Washington said a sewage backup spilled over into the elementary school's cafeteria. Administrators were notified around 12:40 p.m. when staff noticed a strong smell in the cafeteria and an odor in the building's front hallway.
“They had to move the food service to an open room,” Washington said. “They served the kids and students went back to their individual rooms.”
District spokeswoman Teresita Kolenchak said two afternoon classes were moved away from the cafeteria area, and a music room and two bathrooms were the only other areas affected.
Washington said speculation on Monday about the backup was exaggerated.
“It's not like it was a backup where we had all this water. People were saying kids were wading through water, and that's just not true.”
Washington said repair crews closed a bathroom and another room and were snaking a sewage pipe to fix the problem.
“By 3:30 or 4 p.m., they had the pipe blown out,” Washington said. “We took precautions to make sure everything was done well,” he said.
A statement issued by the district said no students were in the immediate area of the backup.
The building was cleaned Monday afternoon and evening with the appropriate equipment and solutions, including bleach and industrial strength disinfectant. Because school was not in session on Tuesday, the cleaning process was repeated.
“We want to reassure parents that appropriate precautions were taken to protect their children at all times,” the district said in a statement posted on its website.
Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penn Hills art classes provide unique, fun opportunities for seniors
- Crime report: Burglaries down, violent crime up in Penn Hills
- Penn Hills’ Shop Local event deemed successful