Chemical leak cleaned up at Southington middle school - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Chemical leak cleaned up at Southington middle school

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The John F. Kennedy Middle School in Southington was evacuated Friday morning because of a chemical leak. (WFSB photo) The John F. Kennedy Middle School in Southington was evacuated Friday morning because of a chemical leak. (WFSB photo)
SOUTHINGTON, CT (WFSB) -

A chemical leak sparked a clean up a middle school in Southington Friday morning.

Superintendent Timothy Connellan said non-toxic glycol leaked from air conditioning units at the John F. Kennedy Middle School on South Main Street.

He sent a letter to parents to alert them of the situation. He said the issue was caught right away.

The source of the problem was a hose fitting that failed in the glycol system. It was located in the ceiling of the science classroom on the second floor of the building, according to Connellan.

About 50 gallons of glycol leaked into the classroom, a neighboring room and onto the first floor. The area on the first floor involved a small portion of the cafeteria and the hallway in front of it.

The fire department was called, which in turn notified the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

DEEP gave permission for the school to conduct its own cleanup, according to Connellan. However, a final cleaning will be done by an outside contractor.

Cleanup was completed before anyone needed to use that part of the building.

"We experienced a small leak in the Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning system this morning at Kennedy Middle School," he said. "The cooling liquid that leaked from the system is glycol and it is a non-toxic substance. There is no health risk to students."

Connellan said the school has been operating on a normal schedule.

"Consequently, the breakfast program was disrupted and students were sent to the auditorium instead of the cafeteria," he wrote. "At this time, we do not believe that the lunch schedule will need modificatio[n]."

Connellan said an update would be provided later in the morning.

Glycol is a coolant commonly used in air conditioning units.

Connellan said it is 70 percent water and 30 percent non-toxic, non-hazardous liquid. He said there is a slight odor and becomes sticky when it dries.

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