Pump malfunction floods Mt. Hope


A sprinkler system breakdown and resulting flood at Mt. Hope High School last week caused nearly $100,000 in damage, of which the Bristol Warren Regional School District will pay upwards of $60,000.

The School Committee Budget and Facilities subcommittee Monday approved first passage of the emergency repairs, which include a new pump to control the school's fire protection system, and new carpeting and floor tiles in the damaged areas. After Rhode Island Interlocal Trust — the school district's insurance company — pays the claim, the district will be liable for $50,000 to $60,000, according to Facilities Director George Simmons.

"Insurance covers damage from the pump, not damage to the pump," Simmons told the committee, leaving the school district to pick up the tab on the most expensive part of the repairs.

The problem began last Thursday when a seal on the pump that controls the water pressure to the fire protection sprinklers broke, flooding the pump house behind the high school. The water made its way into the school, coming up through the floors, and ruining carpets and floor tiles in classrooms, hallways and Principal Donald Rebello's office, Mr. Simmons said. There is no indication the flood caused any mold problems, he said.

Work is already underway to repair the building's interior, which will be complete before school starts, Mr. Simmons said. He is also expecting the new pump to be in place and the sprinkler system to be operational before the start of the school year. The Bristol Fire Department is working with Rehoboth, Mass.-based Home & Commercial Security to expedite the pump's installation, Mr. Simmons said.


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Why didn't the fire alarm system detect the drop in sprinkler pressure and sound the alarm? Which would have allowed earlier detection of the bad pump. Thereby reducing damage costs.

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