Halloween came early today for students when town officials discovered a water main break outside of the elementary school. Students were treated to an early dismissal and the town was put to work.
Joe Carbone, K-4 Schools' Supervisor, first discovered the water main break at Tisko this morning when surveying the school sidewalks for ice following this weekend’s storm. “There was a low fog rolling and that’s what made me notice it,” said Carbone of the water leak.
Carbone called Mark Deming, Branford Schools’ Director of Facilities who conferred with as well as school principal to make the determination that school would be closed today at 11:30 a.m. and excavation of the water break would begin.
Before being able to break ground and survey the entire issue, Deming said, “I don’t think its going to be a huge expense because we’ve got town employees doing the work.”
By the time Patch arrived at 10 a.m. – the leak was discovered around 6:30 a.m. – employees of the plant were pumping water from an access point in front of the school and employees were on the way with an excavator to dig near the leak.
“This is another fine example of interdepartmental cooperation,” said Deming of the perceived cost savings of using in-house labor. Apart from the parts needed, which won’t be known until the ground is dug up later today, and a contracted plumber hired by the Board of Education, the cost should be minimal said Deming. He was however, quick to add that there are always unknowns.
Water main breaks in town have cost in the past, said Deming, as much as $15,000 to $20,000. A more severe break he recalled, about eight years ago at , cost the town as much as $10,000. “That wasn’t the same situation,” Deming added.
Principal O’Connor said his students were elated when they found out they were going home early today. Motioning out his office window to the workers surveying the tiny geyser, which broke ground next to the sidewalk, about 100 feet from the school, O’Conner said “It was very nice to see [the departments work together]. In my previous districts, the communication would not have been as well.” In Branford, he said, “We use our resources better and that’s something the tax payers should be proud of.”
Soon as the students boarded their buses at 11:30 a.m. the water was killed to the building and crews were waiting for CL&P to give them the go ahead to dig safely.
As far as school being on for tomorrow, Deming said he anticipates that it will be if things go smoothly. “The safety of students comes first,” said O’Conner who added that he will know if school will re-open tomorrow as scheduled by this evening.
Check back with Patch for updates.