The discovery of broken sewer pipes under St Albans Primary School resulted in the closure of the library cafe block and adjoining areas on December 2. Stachybotyrs and penicillin spores have been found in air tests.
The block will remain closed until at least the end of term, while the Ministry of Education investigates and decides how to fix the problem. Portaloos have been brought in to compensate for the toilets closed as a result.
Carparking on the asphalt areas has also been banned to help reduce pressure on possibly compromised pipes.
This raises questions about the state of pipes under St Albans houses and also the quality of the air. Anecdotal reports suggest that respiratory complaints in Christchurch have increased since the earthquakes. EQC is encouraging people to get their pipes checked by an engineer (at the homeowner’s expense, unfortunately, although damage linked to the quakes can be the subject of a claim).
Source: partly based on an email from St Albans School