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Schools lose phones, water



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September 15, 2010 - By C.J. Carnacchio

Leader Editor

Oxford Community Schools became a victim of Murphy's Law – "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong."

On Thursday, Sept. 9, the entire school district lost phone service to the outside world while Leonard Elementary had no water for its toilets and sinks.

Like Robinson Crusoe, it was as primitive as could be.

Construction crews working on the new football field over at the middle school accidently cut the main AT&T underground telephone lines coming into the district.

As a result, none of the school facilities could either send or receive any calls outside the district, according to Director of Technology Tim Throne.

However, calls within the district, from school to school, were still possible.

Throne noted this was the fourth time construction crews working at OMS have cut through phone lines.

Phone service was restored on Friday.

Over at Leonard Elementary, all of the students had to be sent home in the morning because the school had no water.

Bruce Biebuyck, supervisor of the district's maintenance department, indicated the school's well pump was running, but had no water pressure.

What happened is the two-inch drop pipe connected to the well pump, which is located 126 feet below ground, had a hole in it where it fastens to the pump.

"It's probably been leaking for quite some time, but then it got bad enough to where we lost pressure," Biebuyck said. "You wouldn't know it was leaking because it just pumps it back down into the well."

The length of pipe was replaced and the school had its water back around 4 p.m. that same day, according to Biebuyck.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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