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Schools to reopen in Shepherdstown

March 24, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County Superintendent of Schools R. Steven Nichols said Thursday that tests on Shepherdstown's water system showed no problems and that the town's middle school and elementary school will reopen today.

The two schools were closed on Wednesday and Thursday after a water main broke outside the town's water treatment plant on Princess Street Tuesday.

Although town residents were able to get water service back Wednesday, Nichols said he needed to keep Shepherdstown Elementary School and Shepherdstown Middle School closed Wednesday and Thursday because the water still needed to be tested.

The schools also need to stay closed because there was not enough water pressure Wednesday to flush toilets, he said.

Nichols said Thursday the water pressure problem has been resolved.

Chris Hutzler, assistant superintendent of the town's water plant, confirmed that the tests showed the town's water is fine.

A boil water advisory for town residents also has been lifted, Town Hall receptionist Jessie Woods said Thursday.

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It is recommended that residents run their water for about a minute before using it to remove any discoloration that may be in the water, Woods said.

It is believed the 10-inch water main may have broken due to its age, said Hutzler.

The water needed to be tested because when a water system loses pressure, there is a potential for contaminants to enter it, Hutzler said. As the water was being tested, town residents had been advised to boil their water for one minute before using it.

Hutzler said the town lost between 700,000 and 750,000 gallons of water because of the water main break.

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