Cesspool, Septic Systems Force Closure Of Long Island School, Relocation Of Over 600 Students

Mack Rosenberg
January 19, 2020 - 2:52 pm
Cesspool water

iStock/Getty Images


NORTHPORT, N.Y. (WCBS 880) – School officials in Suffolk County are closing a middle school for the remainder of the year because of elevated levels of mercury and other dangerous chemicals.

Parents have been voicing their concerns about smells coming from inside Northport Middle School for years, with some even alleging health problems like nosebleeds and lung infections, according to Newsday.

It turns out there’s a cesspool just outside one of the classrooms containing elevated levels of mercury. Septic systems also had potentially dangerous chemicals.

“I called for the Department of Environmental Conservation to come in and conduct a full investigation,” state Sen. James Gaughran told WCBS 880. “There already is a review by the state Department of Health, and they’ve also brought in the Suffolk County Department of Health.”

And so the superintendent announced the school would close the rest of the school year to deal with the problem, sending 666 seventh and eighth graders elsewhere.

Gaughran, whose two children went to the school, said it’s going to be a disruption for students, teachers and parents.

“What we have to make sure of is that the students themselves do not lose out on any of their education for the rest of the year,” he said.

Gaughran is pushing for extra money in the state budget to help with the relocation process.