School oil spill crisis averted
Classes canceled after discovery
Following a ruptured fuel line that leaked heating oil into the Rindge Memorial School drainage system early Friday morning, school officials were forced to cancel classes and call in the Rindge Fire Department and N.H. Department of Environmental Services.
According to Principal Jurg Jenzer, the mechanical accident took place sometime between Thursday night and Friday morning, and was discovered by a school custodian around 6:15 a.m. on Friday.
The fuel, which spilled into the parking lot and filled the school with fuel odors, had found its way into the drainage system leaving the school, heading directly for the nearby wetland.
Because of the spill and subsequent lack of heat, school was canceled for the day.
“The worst was avoided,” Jenzer said by phone Monday. Jenzer commended the Rindge Fire Department, who quickly responded to the scene and contained the fuel in the drainage site, stopping it from leaking into the wetland and the two brooks running into local lakes.
The school then contacted N.H. Department of Environmental Services personnel, who arrived at the school between 8 and 9 a.m. to assess the situation.
EnviroPro, a professional environmental contractor, did the remaining clean-up on Friday. The fuel lines and pumps have since been replaced, and RMS was back to normal by Monday.
“We got pretty lucky in a dicey situation,” Jenzer said.
According to Jaffrey-Rindge Cooperative District Supt. James O’Neill, the cost of the incident is still being determined with the district’s insurance providers.
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