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Water system failure results in day off for Salmon River students

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FORT COVINGTON - Students at Salmon River Central enjoyed an unexpected day off Monday as crews struggled to fix problems with the water system that left the school without water.

But the issue has been resolved, and school is expected to reopen on schedule Tuesday.

School Superintendent of Buildings Ryan Adams recognized one of two pumps for the water system had malfunctioned at around 6:40 a.m. Monday. The system had been checked at 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. with no problems.

Superintendent Jane Collins initially imposed a two-hour delay, but she was forced to close school when told they wouldn’t have water running in time.

Staff replaced the pump, which was the older of the two used in the system, by 10 a.m., but pressure problems continued. “Further investigation determined that the heat sensitive limit switch had malfunctioned,” Ms. Collins said.

That part of the system has never been an issue before.

The switch was replaced, and now the water system is running normally, school officials said.

The school is expected to operate under its normal schedule Tuesday.

“All of these things would be repaired in the capital project,” Ms. Collins said. “We need to upgrade our water system to avoid this occurring in the future.”

The New York State Department of Health has mandated replacement of Salmon River’s water system since the district’s geothermal heating and cooling system leaked, contaminating their water.

Additionally the DOH would like Salmon River to “get out of the water treatment business” and find a new water source, according to Ms. Collins.

A new water source may be accomplished by connecting to a municipal water treatment system or through development of a new district system. Either will carry a cost of $2.4 million.

The school is currently in negotiations with the town of Fort Covington, but has also been entertaining entering into a contract with Akwesasne or creating a new water treatment facility managed by the school district.

No matter what the decision is somewhat dependent on the passing of the capital project, which comes to public vote from 12-8 p.m. Oct. 22 in the high school auditorium.

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