Stinky situation: Backup issues causes brown water, smell of feces at Miller Place school
Parents say their children at Andrew Muller Primary School have been forced to deal with brown water and the smell of feces on and off for weeks.
On Thursday, the Miller Place Union Free School District sent a series of emails to parents about the most recent situation, describing it as a water backup problem.
Second grader Mason described what he saw at school on Thursday.
"Poop, and it was all brown stuff all over the school,” he said.
The school district sent a letter at 3 p.m. to parents Thursday about the problem and that staff had to relocate students to the middle school. Students returned to the school on Friday.
One parent, who wished to remain anonymous and asked News 12 to refer to him as J, says the district should've called parents about the issue.
"If I don't get some sort of phone call or a text message or anything like that, I'm really not notified,” he said. “It was kind of a state of shock for us to go pick our daughter up and then to find out that there was sewage backing up in the school and that our kids couldn't use the toilets is kind of an issue for me."
In a later email to parents, district officials said the water was “visually clear” and there was “no noticeable odor.”
Second grader Nathaniel says otherwise.
"I saw, like, brownish water in the toilets and in the hallway and I smelled poop in my classroom and in the hallways,” he said.
Parents say this problem isn't new.
A school staff member shared with News 12 a picture of sewage backed up into the school in November.
Stephanie Biondi says her son has been sick for the last few weeks. She says she wants the district to provide safer conditions for students.
"I just feel that as a district, they have to do better for us,” she said. “They have to, you know, show us that they're going to make our kids' safety a priority to them and they're not right now."
Biondi says if the problem can’t be solved quickly, there are ways to not impact their instruction.
“Go virtual for a week, figure out the issue that we're having, and bring the kids back to school,” she said. “But to put the kids in a situation where they are exposed to toxic sewage and filth and bacteria and all this other stuff, you're causing more problems for them."
Parents also tell News 12 they saw the Suffolk County Health Department at the school Friday afternoon.
News 12 reached out to the Health Department to see if any violations have been filed and is still awaiting a response.