The superintendent of Wild Rose Public Schools is optimistic that students will return to Condor School by Wednesday.
The kindergarten to Grade 7 school in the Hamlet of Condor — located just north of Highway 11, about 50 km west of Red Deer — was closed on Thursday after routine testing revealed the well water contained unsafe levels of bacteria.
The wells were shock chlorinated on Thursday and samples were taken on Saturday and Sunday morning. On both days, superintendent Brian Celli personally drove the samples down to the Provincial Laboratory for Public Health in Calgary.
The first result has come back clear, he said.
“We’re optimistic that since the first one came back clear, the second one will as well,” Celli said, explaining they need two consecutive clean samples before the school can be reopened.
“We should hopefully have students back in by Wednesday, fingers crossed.”
The 150 students from Condor School were to attend classes at Leslieville Elementary School and Bethel Union Church on Monday and today.
As far as Celli is aware, none of the students or teachers have fallen ill due to the contaminated water.
“I think if nobody gets sick this time we’ll say we just got lucky and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said.
Well water at Condor School has been an issue for Wild Rose in past years and the latest episode has motivated the school division to find a long-term solution to the problem.
“We don’t know what it’s all going to look like just yet but we need to find a longer-term solution because that could have been a very, very bad incident out there,” Celli said.
One option is to install some sort of system in the school that will treat the well water.
Celli added they may also start testing the well water more often than what is recommended. Currently, routine testing takes place on a monthly basis.
For now, Celli said they’ll remain cautious and will operate with bottle water for the remainder of the school year once the school reopens. The last day of class is June 28.
Celli expects to receive the results from the second test by this morning.