Carson High still dry | NevadaAppeal.com

Carson High still dry

by Teri Vance and Kurt Hildebrand

Contamination in the water at Carson High School has spread to the High Tech Center and the ROTC buildings.

Water to those two buildings was shut off Monday after testing revealed minute amounts of ethylene glycol, an antifreeze, in the water.

School District Operations Manager Mike Mitchell said the testing, conducted by Carson City Environmental Health, revealed .2 parts per million of the substance inside the two buildings.

Meanwhile, a single drinking fountain inside the high school tested positive for glycol, ensuring water would be off in the main building again today.

“Now all the water is off,” Mitchell said. “We’ll have bottled water and portable sinks in the two buildings. The bathrooms are still operational.

Mitchell said it appears there may be some connection between the high school and the two adjunct buildings.

“It is an old building,” he said. “There might be some connection point we are unaware of. In the meanwhile, we are taking preventative measures.”

There have been no complaints from people who consumed water at either of the other buildings.

“We’ve had no complaints about clarity, smell or taste in either one of the buildings.”

Chris Donnel, 17, used the downstairs bathroom at Carson High School on Monday afternoon, but there was no water in the sink placed outside the door.

“I want to wash my hands, but I can’t,” he lamented. “It’s gross.”

Nearly a week after all water was shut off at the high school when traces of antifreeze were detected, it still has not been determined clean enough to drink or wash with.

The water was turned back on to the toilets Friday and hand-washing stations were placed outside bathroom doors. Coolers full of drinking water have been set up in Senator Square and in the foyer, but some students are not satisfied.

“It sucks,” said sophomore Eric Murguia. “They make us go to school and you have to go out to the gross porta-potties to go to the bathroom.”

High school and district officials are waiting for the nearly two miles of pipes within the school to drain completely before turning water back on.

“I think they should fix it as fast as possible,” said Billy Freder, 16. “I think if they were doing all they could, it would have been done a lot faster.”

The contamination occurred when a valve failed to close completely, allowing tainted water from the cooling system to flow into the drinking supply.

The valve had been removed during preliminary work to replace the current cooler with an updated, less costly system as part of the bond projects.

Superintendent Mary Pierczynski said the water was supposed to be turned back on during the lunch hour Monday, but test results still detected traces of water-treatment chemicals.

For your information

Anyone concerned about the water is encouraged to contact the school district operations department at 283-2110 or Carson City Environmental Health at 887-2190.