Chlorine leak causes talk of revamp


WEST TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – West Terre Haute had an interesting episode Friday morning and a tower by West Vigo Elementary was at the root of the problem.

A slight chlorine leak was detected around 10 a.m.

It’s a distinctive odor, smelled immediately by members of the surrounding neighborhood. A simple equipment failure that could have been serious when a canister in the tower by the West Vigo Elementary School was leaking chlorine.

“We did a check of the building. Upon the check, we did find there was a small detection of chlorine within the building that was within acceptable range,” said Dan Tanoos, Vigo County School superintendent.

That’s when the students were evacuated to Consolidated Elementary, as a precautionary measure.

“The school corporation decided to evacuate the building. Just to be on the safe side. We don’t anticipate any further issues with this,” said Mike Stewart, Deputy Fire Chief.

This small incident, though harmless, has caused officials to take a good, hard look at the way water is treated so close to a school.

Moving forward, they’re going to look at different options to use.

“Using different types of chemicals, rather than chlorine, which is much more dangerous than maybe a bleach..that wouldn’t be so dangerous to the students,” said Scott McClain, city council president.

City council officials say the revamp will happen as soon as possible.

“There was never any harm or concern for our students,” said Tanoos.

City council officials say they have already contacted a company to change over the system.

“The system will be updated and we’ll just try to use a different chemical in the future, prevent this from happening again,” said McClain.

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