Hayden students back to school after water problems

Test results showed no health concerns were associated with water discoloration found in Hayden schools last Wednesday, according to Blount County assistant Supt. Rodney Green.

As a precaution, all Hayden schools were dismissed Thursday after water at Hayden Elementary and Hayden High School was reported to be discolored the previous day, according to Green.

“The water discoloration was discovered at approximately 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday,” Green said. “We were able to get through that school day while providing students with bottled water, juices, and milk to drink for lunch and snack. All principals were notified and did a great job covering water fountains and any other water used for drinking purposes.”

Water samples were taken to Wallace State Community College for testing, and since results would not be ready until Thursday at noon, Green said the decision was made to dismiss school to ensure no one was at risk.

“It is not uncommon for sediment and discoloration to come through a faucet at a residence, but because we were dealing with schools full of children, we wanted to wait on the test results,” Green said. “We received a call from Jeff Carter, with the Blount County Water Authority, confirming the samples didn’t have any bacteria and the chlorine level was normal. Biological testing was good, and the water was completely safe.”

Green said no cause for the discoloration was announced. He linked it to the possibility of normal sedimentation and build up being released.

“Hayden and Blount County water authorities provided great cooperation during the event,” Green said. “They flushed fire hydrants to make sure if there was something in the water, they got it out.”

Depending on weather throughout the rest of the year, Hayden schools may or may not have to have a makeup day in connection with their Thursday dismissal.

“Our calendar includes three weather days,” Green said. “We have already used one of those earlier in the year, which makes this the second one for Hayden. If we don’t have many more weather days in the coming months, Hayden students won’t have to make it up, but if we have additional weather days, they will. It’s basically in a state of limbo right now, and we will just have to wait to see what happens.”