Darien School officials announced that four elementary schools in town failed an environmental test, forcing each school to remove underground oil tanks and install temporary ones until permanent tanks can be installed, which could cost the town upwards of $450,000.
Oil tanks at Hindley, Holmes, Ox Ridge and Royle Schools failed the vacuum and cathartic protection tests, according to schools’ finance director, Richard Huot, who said in a statement that this does not mean the tanks are leaking.
“School district staff measure oil levels in tanks daily and any leaking tank would be quickly identified,” Huot wrote. “Oil tank replacement has been part of the school district’s long-range capital plan for several years as the tanks would have been required to be replaced at 30 years of age. Failure to pass the … tests hastens the replacement process.”
Hindley is now operating on natural gas so that tank will not be replaced, Huot said. Tank replacement is eligible for state construction grants, which could reimburse the town 21% of expenses, or roughly $84,000. The tanks are expected to be replaced by the summer of 2013.
Because money for these tanks was not included in the capital expense budgets for 2012-13, a special appropriation could be needed, but the details of that are unclear.
Check back with the DarienTimes.com later for more information as this story develops, or read the full story in Thursday’s print edition of The Darien Times.