Water pressure restored at most HISD schools

August 25, 2011 5:01:45 AM PDT
Houston ISD says water pressure was restored at five of the nine campuses that were affected by water main breaks on Wednesday.

Water at Madison High School, Carnegie-Vanguard High School, Law Elementary School, Caldwell Elementary School and Mading Elementary schools is now fully functioning.

But that wasn't the case on yesterday afternoon. Parents on were furious over the fact that their children had to use portable toilets at several schools across HISD as officials were trying to deal with water line breaks.

The first set of leaks were reported Tuesday, but the heat had tripled the work for city crews trying to fix water main leaks across Houston. As a result, the list of schools dealing with low water pressure had grown to nine. By this morning, the following four remain affected:

  • Sterling High School
  • Thomas Middle School
  • Attucks Middle School
  • Frost Elementary School

HISD says it's working closely with the city of Houston to monitor the situation, but as of now, all the schools are expected to remain open today.

"If the situation worsens, HISD is putting together a plan of action to relocate those students affected to nearby schools to ensure their safety and comfort. Any such actions would be immediately communicated to parents by phone," the district said in a statement.

Yesterday, classes at all nine campuses were held as usual but portable toilets were delivered to several campuses. Bottled drinking water also was delivered to the campuses and water tank trucks were available to cool the air conditioning towers. But it was the portable toilets that were considered an inconvenience that had some parents worried about sanitation.

"It's germs," said parent Shanquie Sanders. "It's females, it's young ladies, and they have to, you know, sit on the toilet and all of that. I think it's very nasty."

City officials say the searing heat and dry earth have contributed to creating the water main breaks. City crews have more than 800 repair calls pending. But breaks near hospitals and schools are given priority.

"They didn't tell us anything," said one student.

Most students we talked to didn't know about the low water pressure, but their parents did.

Parent Priscilla Fletcher said, "My babies were able to go to the classroom to use the restroom in the kindergarten hall. But they have tons of port-a-potties outside by the playground. It doesn't even look too good."

If things get worse, HISD says it is working on a plan to possibly relocate student to nearby schools.

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