Delmae Elementary parents worried about sewage problem

Maintenance crews are monitoring the sewer system at Delmae Elementary School.

Last week, a back up forced the school to cancel outside recess and close two bathrooms.

District officials say either a faucet was left on or a faulty valve on a toilet overloaded the septic system with water causing the back up.

Administrators say the problem is fixed, but parents like Barry Townsend are still concerned.

"You could see it, smell it and I took photos of it," he said.

Townsend has two children at Delmae and chairs the School Improvement Council. His pictures show several holes dug by maintenance crews to fix the drainage system.

What has parent Dana Shriver bothered is that the dirt crews dug up is still on site.

"They say they're putting lime down to take care of any kind of bacteria, the problem is the underlying surface. Kids are sitting, playing sometimes eating the dirt. It's under their nails, it's under their shoes," she said.

District officials say they didn't have to remove the soil.

They say state health regulators require mixing lime into the dirt to kill any bacteria that may be present.

But Christine Townsend, Barry's wife, would like to see the district go a step further. "I would like to see the district investigate additional treatment and also a soil test of the area, so we can make sure the playground is the safe for all children."

Administrators say they want to reassure parents the playground has been thoroughly inspected by an outside contractor and is safe. At this point, they say there is no need to do any additional testing.

The district says they follow the same procedure as the City of Florence when there is a drainage problem.

Officials say plans are underway to connect Delmae to the Florence city sewer line in the coming months.

They say that should alleviate any sewage back up problems.