By John DeCoste
Students at Northeast Kings Education Centre got an unscheduled part of a day off March 5 when a sewage problem resulted in classes being dismissed early.
School board superintendent Margo Tait confirmed the problem was “not at the school,” but rather “with the municipal sewer line,” she said.
“They couldn’t flush the toilets after use, so we dismissed the students early.”
School board operations staff checked out the problem, and when it was determined to be a municipal issue, the municipality was contacted.
“They were great,” Tait said of the municipal staff, “and dealt with it right away.”
Tait’s understanding was that the issue was minor in nature, and was able to be fixed fairly quickly. There was school as usual at NKEC on March 6, she said.
Kings County Manager of Engineering and Public Works Scott Quinn said the problem was a blockage in the first manhole off the school property.
On investigation, it appeared “a bunch of sticks and other foreign objects” had been stuck into the manhole, jamming it and causing the line to back up into the school.
From the size and amount of the debris, it appeared as if it had been “deliberately inserted” into the manhole, though there was no way of proving it.
A municipal crew with a vacuum truck cleared the debris out of the manhole and things were back to normal.
The cleanup took around two hours, which was “unfortunately not in time to prevent school having to be cancelled for the day,” he said.
Quinn confirmed this was “the first time I can remember this happening.”
Municipal staff planned to put a different top on the manhole to try and minimize the chances of this happening again.