A water fountain at Northport Middle School was inadvertently fed...

A water fountain at Northport Middle School was inadvertently fed from a hose, the school superintendent told parents in a letter on July 25, 2017. Above, the school is seen on Dec. 27, 2014. Credit: Ian J. Stark

The Northport-East Northport school district has notified families of students that a water fountain at Northport Middle School was mistakenly fed by a hose instead of the water main.

Superintendent Robert Banzer said in a letter to parents that the problem arose in May during a repair to the main water supply for the school’s K-wing.

The repair required that the main supply of water to that part of the school be turned off, but a hose was used to provide water to the science labs, Banzer said in his July 25 letter.

“Unbeknownst to the district, one of two water fountains in the area continued to dispense water [from the hose] for a period of two weeks,” Banzer wrote. “This was reported to the administration after the repair had been made and the main water supply was re-connected.”

The district arranged for the Suffolk County Health Department to test the water source, and Banzer said in his letter that officials will share the water analysis once results are available.

School officials announced in June that they were closing the K-wing of the school over the summer for cleaning and air quality testing after petroleum-based materials were found and removed from the building.

At the time, air-quality testing had detected 24 volatile organic compounds in a classroom. The compounds, which are in many commonly used products such as nail polish or gasoline, included four at levels above the state Department of Health’s air quality guidelines.

Officials have scheduled a public forum Wednesday in response to community concerns about air and water quality at the school. Banzer said in his letter that the latest round of air quality testing should be complete in time for the forum. The meeting is to be held at 7 p.m. at the middle school, 11 Middleville Rd.

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