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A Norwich Green update from the principal
Just to keep you informed
I am sharing some info I received from the principal of the Marion Cross school.
Take it away Shawn!
Coordinator of Student Services
Norwich Green Update
Dear MCS Families,
You might have noticed that a small portion of the Norwich Green has been fenced off and perhaps you are wondering why. Here is a brief explanation.
If spots emerge on the Green that have a smell, or off-colored snow/water, the District tests when possible. We can conduct testing, when conditions are above a certain temperature (based on guidance from a local lab, Endyne), if below a certain temperature the testing may not be reliable. If testing is not reliable, due to temperatures, we have put fencing up as a precautionary measure.
It was reported to the school that a particular section of the Norwich Green had a smell and some off-colored water. After a follow up with me, Facilities Director Tony Daigle sampled that area as the temperatures were high enough for more accurate readings. One of the two samples tested positive for E. coli. As a result, the fencing was installed around the area of the positive test and additional samples were taken on the Green on Monday.
The three water samples taken have come back negative. We are waiting on the results of a couple of soil samples. Out of an abundance of caution, we are keeping the area of the original positive test fenced off until the soil samples taken on Monday come back. If any positive results come back, we will determine additional precautionary measures.
The Norwich School Board has been working to address the situation and to come to a long-term solution for the problem of the septic system at MCS. Working with the State regulators, for the past few years, we implemented short-term measures such as shutting down the leach fields and pumping the septic tanks during the winter months (the leach field was shut down this year on December 1st, at which time weekly pumping of the tanks began).
Because of these measures, there is no logical way effluent could be coming from MCS given that it has been nearly four months since the leach field was shut down and pumping began, but we will continue to test that logic. As such, we also are conducting expanded testing on, and surrounding the property, including storm water drains, sidewalk areas, etc. that may be presenting the problem.
The School Board and Administration is still considering a number of possible long-term solutions and there was even a March Intensive conducted at Hanover High School last week, led by two science teachers and including eight students, that is considering alternative options for the septic design. They will present at the April meeting of the School Board (April 6). As we proceed with our analysis, we will want community feedback on the options we will consider and would certainly welcome community feedback. There also is a dedicated webpage on the SAU70 website where the School Board and Administration have posted updates.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out and ask.
22 Church Street, Norwich, VT 05055
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