Sewage fixed at Cedar Grove Community School - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Sewage fixed at Cedar Grove Community School

Posted: Updated:

Nestled off the Midland Trail, inside Cedar Grove Community School, and underneath the ground level of the building itself, sewage build-up once infiltrated the football team's locker room.

"They had to take a couple days off to practice, the water was so high, you could smell it you," said Dale Lanham, whose 12-year-old son plays on the football team.

In early November, a sewer pipe burst just feet away from Cedar Grove Community School, causing the school to close for a day.

The sewage line belongs to the town of Cedar Grove, and workers from Kanawha County Schools fixed the pipe within two days; students returned to school that following Monday.

But school officials and parents said faulty sewage pumps had caused issues around the school months before the incident.

"I became principal here in July so football season was going on and when it rained, there was sewer backed up," said Melissa Lawrence, the principal of Cedar Grove Middle School.

Terry Hollandsworth, who manages maintenance facilities for Kanawha County Schools, issued this statement to 13News:

"Kanawha County Schools had already begun gathering materials, quotes, etc… to make the necessary repairs prior to that date {November 2}".

Hollandsworth also told 13News that new pipes had been ordered prior to the burst on November 2.

But parents said they want to know why it took a pipe to burst to fix a sewage problem that had already existed.

"I couldn't believe it took them that long to get them fixed," said Lanham, who works in construction. "A sewer like that, you can catch anything."

Other parents said they think the sludge made their children sick, even though they never entered the locker room, where only football players entered.

"My daughter comes home with headaches, I give her aspirin, Tylenol, something for headaches," said Cheryl Perdue, a parent of a Cedar Grove student. "I feel like you can't get answers and every time you bring the subject up, they don't want to talk about it."

But the principal, Melissa Lawrence, was forthcoming about the issue and did go on camera with 13News. She said no parents have come forward complaining of health problems, and all sewer problems are corrected.

"As a parent myself, I understand what the concern is," Lawrence said. "If there is a problem, we seek diligently to fix that, it has been fixed, and there is no safety issue."