Public schools are facing critical budget shortages in many areas of the country. For Tiverton High School in Tiverton, Rhode Island, that financial stress was considerably worse this summer as school officials scrambled to ensure that a much-needed septic tank system replacement was in place by the first day of school this fall. The septic system serves an elementary school as well as the junior and senior high school within the educational complex. The replacement was ordered after inspections by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management showed signs of imminent failure and leakage from the existing system.
A Costly Proposition for Local Schools
The school district initially planned for and budgeted $400,000 to manage the replacement costs for the new septic system. When bids were solicited, however, the winning bid came in at $655,000, more than one-third higher than school administrators had estimated. Rather than take out loans for the remainder of the costs, the school district opted to use money from its reserve fund to ensure that the Tiverton septic system project was completed on time and to state specifications.
An Ironclad Deadline for Completion
Another factor complicating the situation for Tiverton High School was the established date for the first day of school of August 29, 2013, which represented a fixed point by which all renovations and replacement activities had to be completed. This created a real sense of urgency in speeding the process along and ensuring that the project stayed on schedule throughout the summer. Fortunately, the entire project was completed by the first day of school and students returned to classes with fully functional restrooms and water drainage systems. The costs related to this necessary expenditure, however, are likely to be felt within the Tiverton school district for some time to come.
Public agencies, small businesses, school districts and private homeowners can often avoid serious septic tank problems by performing regular maintenance and inspections for these vital wastewater treatment plants. In many cases, the longevity and proper function of septic systems can be greatly enhanced by installing a septic aerator into the tank to promote faster decomposition. Aeration systems allow more efficient aerobic bacteria to grow and form colonies within the tank, thus increasing the overall speed and efficiency of the breakdown of particulate organic matter. This allows water to be purified more quickly and reduces the chance of catastrophic failure and consequent failed inspections. Companies like Aero-Stream offer these advanced aeration systems suitable for installation in septic systems that serve homes, schools, businesses and public agencies.