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Parent Asks Council to Address Brown Water at Woonsocket Middle School

Mom brings two bottles of murky water she said came from taps at school.

Alethea Forcier brought two bottles of brown water to Monday night's City Council meeting she said came from the tap at Woonsocket Middle School. CREDIT: Rob Borkowski
Alethea Forcier brought two bottles of brown water to Monday night's City Council meeting she said came from the tap at Woonsocket Middle School. CREDIT: Rob Borkowski
Alethea Forcier brought two bottles of brown water to Monday night's City Council meeting — samples from the tap at Woonsocket Middle school.

Forcier, a member of the Woonsocket Middle School PTO and a mother of an eighth grade girl, said she had taken the samples from the girls bathroom at the Hamlet Middle School, but, she said, the same brown water is coming out of the tap in the sinks at both buildings, including the cafeterias. 

"My child goes to this school," Forcier said, "Something needs to be done about this."

Forcier said the water at the school's been brown for at least a month, though some older kids she's talked to say it's been that way for at least a year. 

She said the schools' principals and Superintendent Giovana Donyoan know about the problem. 

After the meeting, Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt said she would contact Donoyan about the water. Councilman Christopher Beauchamp also spoke to Forcier about the problem.

Baldelli-Hunt said she would contact Donoyan about the water this morning.
Lise January 07, 2014 at 06:14 AM
I'm sick about this, my daughter and son goes there and I had no clue. I just asked my daughter and she said yes it is bad. I'm even more disgusted that the superintendent knew about it and didn't do anything about it. Let her drink it. I hope Mr. Beauchamp can take care of this for our kids. I want to know what else they are hiding from us parents and from the people in Woonsocket. I don't know this mom but thanks to the mom who was brave enough to bring this up. Aren't these new schools?
virgil earp January 07, 2014 at 06:54 AM
It's brown -- and sometimes it's chunky!
Yvette M Ayotte January 07, 2014 at 07:26 AM
Can't believe this wasn't taken cared of right away. I guess it wasn't important enough. Sad!!
Paula Paulette January 07, 2014 at 07:33 AM
Do they have a cafeteria that they cook in with this ?
Chris12 January 07, 2014 at 07:54 AM
"Baldelli-Hunt said she would contact Donoyan about the water this morning." Why didn't Donoyan contact the Mayor BEFORE NOW? A parent had to attend a CC meeting with two dirty bottles of brown water to get the attention of our civic leaders. Something is very wrong here.
RonW January 07, 2014 at 08:15 AM
That water looks like it comes from a third world country.
John January 07, 2014 at 09:13 AM
This has been brought to the attention of the Superintendent many times in the last couple of months and she claims there is nothing wrong with it. She is either extremely lazy or just doesn't care. This water should be tested to find out if whatever is causing the discoloration has or will cause health problems to the children that have been consuming it.
John January 07, 2014 at 09:26 AM
I forgot to mention that someone even posted a You Tube video of the brown water coming out of the faucets at the Middle Schools after being told by Dr. Donoyan that the water was fine.
Still Hope January 07, 2014 at 10:25 AM
I have an idea, how about building 2 middle schools on a 100 year old hazmat site is dangerous. Kids only spend 1/3 of their day sitting atop of remediated wasteland. A penny saved is a child burned. http://www.ecori.org/social-justice-archive/2012/5/20/what-lies-beneath-urban-schools-has-some-worried.html http://www.epa.gov/oust/pubs/pbfopportunities.pdf
Tim Forcier January 07, 2014 at 01:14 PM
John, they are well aware of what is causing it.
John January 07, 2014 at 01:44 PM
Tim, Enlighten us. What is the cause? I assume it is a cracked pipe under the school.
brendalee hartland mcgovern January 07, 2014 at 04:44 PM
At what cost ?? Why do the children and staff that are in these buildings have to be subjected to such things?
brendalee hartland mcgovern January 07, 2014 at 04:46 PM
I recommend that we fire all those who work at the McFee Administration Building, and the water dept, for allowing this to go on
Steve January 07, 2014 at 05:24 PM
Folks, this is plumbing 101! If someone actually cared about the water quality in the middle school, this would have been corrected when it was noticed! If it's a temporary condition, then it could have been caused by a local fire or such as an event that put a drain on the system, but if it's an extended condition, then it's caused by the feed lines coming into the school. Either way, a simple water line check would isolate the problem and what the corrective action would be. It's incredible to think that this water could/is going into the food prep. area in the cafeteria! Typical know nothing people in jobs they know nothing about. I guess the WED never heard of a water filter? Go figure........
Brendalee Hartland McGovern January 07, 2014 at 06:12 PM
the other thing I would have to say is that these buildings aren't old, they are new, how much did the taxpayers have to fork over and are still bearing the brunt of and there is no quality of water ?
Brendalee Hartland McGovern January 07, 2014 at 06:13 PM
I would like to see Dr Donoyan take a drink or 2 of the water..let's see what her reaction would be with a glass to her lips..
Rose Genereux January 07, 2014 at 11:35 PM
Is that water coming from the river? Yikes!
Stephen Weber January 08, 2014 at 05:34 AM
Gross... The superintendant should be forced to drink a quart of that sewer water or resign
John Ward January 08, 2014 at 10:14 AM
Okay, so it has been a ful day sionce it was so publically announced, and at least a couple of weeks since it started. When will the cause be identified by the school facilities director, or the city public works director, or the superintendent, or the Mayor? Even if it won't be fixed immediately, someone should at least be saying what the cause is! Why has the superintendent been silent and non-responsive? Where are the new school board members? Why haven't they spoken to the public about this?
John Ward January 08, 2014 at 10:14 AM
This is "the best superintendent in the whole state" according to the mayor...RIGHT???
Stephen Weber January 08, 2014 at 10:32 AM
Curious: Does anyone know if the school dept has Poland spring delivered for staff at public expense??
virgil earp January 08, 2014 at 10:50 AM
I see corn niblets floating. Peanuts, too
John January 08, 2014 at 11:50 AM
Yes, Mr. ward, We are so fortunate that she drives her Mercedes from Smithfield to Woonsocket everyday to provide this type of service for our children.
Marcel Foisy January 08, 2014 at 12:09 PM
Does anyone else see the hilarity of John Ward commenting on the superintendent of schools? The previous administration could have terminated her if she wasn't performing. Clearly there is a problem at the school and should be dealt with immediately by facilities and water dept.
John Ward January 08, 2014 at 12:14 PM
Marcel, only the school committee could have terminated the superintendent for lack of performance, not the previous administration. BTW, I was not a part of teh "previous administration." I was one member of the seven member city council with no more authority than any of the other six members. So, I guess we should see the ridiculousness of your statement, not the hilarity of my comment. They did teach civics in the middle school, no?
Still Hope January 08, 2014 at 12:32 PM
Are you guys kidding me? It's not a mystery here. These two schools are built on a toxic waste site. The city, state, and DEM officials knew(and still know) the soil beneath these school were highly contaminated. During the remediation process, officials decided to "dilute" the contaminated soil rather than remove and replace it, because it was cheaper. They poured bacteria "to eat" the contaminates and then mixed clean fill and concrete into the sludge. On paper, this process was supposed to be adequate. In reality, it's a freakin school! If you wanna build a parking lot or a golf course, by all means, leave the toxic ground soil. If you wanna build 2 schools that house hundreds of children in the middle of there development stages...you are negligent. We live in time where we have strict laws regarding lead, carbon monoxide, and radon. These are hidden carcinogens. The soil beneath the school in a KNOWN carcinogen, laws be damned. This sounds like an episode of the Simpsons, waiting on the 3-eyed fish to appear in the Blackstone.
Still Hope January 08, 2014 at 12:47 PM
The above post doesn't explain the drinking water. Since the drinking water is on a closed systems, my guess is it's just sediment left over from the old pipes. Keep in mind, the schools are at one of the lowest points in the city. We all know that [expletive] runs downhill. The pipes at the school are brand new, however, the pipes leading to the school are probably on the historic registry. You have 50-100 years of old sediment and rust that has been sitting there quietly, some of it is bound to get jarred around when you turn the faucets up full blast. The remedy should be just to flush the pipes til you get as close to clear as Woonsocket water gets. This is all assuming that the problem is internal. If it's actually a broken pipe that is absorbing contaminants, then I divert you back to my previous post.
John January 08, 2014 at 01:28 PM
@ Stephen Weber, The McFee Administration building and the Principal's Offices do have Poland Spring Delivered. I would assume they are not passing the hat among themselves to pay for it.
STEPHEN WEBER January 08, 2014 at 02:05 PM
So sewer water is fine for the children of Woonsocket , but these over paid administrators (superintendents and principles ETC) have water delivered have water delivered so they don't get ill from drinking sewer water and the parents of the children pay for these over paid public servants to drink Poland Springs... I thought Woonsocket was broke.... What's wrong with this picture?
Alethea Forcier January 09, 2014 at 02:32 PM
The "talking" of this or any other problem does not "solve" the problem, it only stirs the pot creating bigger problems. I am referring to the gossiping that is going on within the comments sections. If you want to help be part of the solution then you should have been at the meeting, but you were not. As parents we have the power to be part of the solution and I can see we have some pretty strong personalities on here that can be used to help create a positive end result. You are basing your opinions (which you are entitled to) on here say not on fact. Fact: the water is disclosed and contains iron (I have proof to support that statement). Fact: We need to fix it!

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