I understand your concerns. I have spoken to the Fire Department, at this point, but am still waiting for the representative from Southern CT Gas to return my call. I’m told it could take another 24 hours. In the meantime, I want to fill you in about what has happened at Peck.
We have called the gas company for service outside of the school three times, this summer, and most recently yesterday.
The first call was not a leak. In an accident, Prindle Hill Construction was doing some excavation work for us, hit the gas line with a backhoe, and broke it. In the well-known, “call before you dig,” they had not called before they dug.
The gas company shut off the gas at the road, and that pipe was repaired. We evacuated the building that day because it seemed like common sense to do so, but there was technically no gas leak inside of Peck Place. In fact, I was very surprised to learn from the Fire Department that because the gas was leaking outside into the open air such as it was, it was never a danger to the building or anyone around it.
The second call was when a valve in the gas meter at the back of Peck School began leaking a week after the line break. There was some follow-up discussion about whether or not the line break the previous week had caused the valve to leak, but there’s no way to have a definitive answer to that question.
Again, because someone noticed the smell, we evacuated the building, and the gas company and fire department responded and the gas company replaced that valve. The leak was outside the building, not inside.
On Monday, Aug. 19, the gas company again responded to a call from us. Some people smelled gas; some people did not. The gas company said there may have been some dirt in the line. The problem was so small, the building did not require evacuation, and people went about their work. The gas company cleaned the line and has told us it is fine.
In all of these instances, the Orange Fire Department and Southern CT Gas have both come to Peck and responded extremely professionally and carefully. They understand this is a school, and they are very careful about their work. There is no concern amongst these professionals for there being any further leaks outside… or, especially any leaks inside the building.
Both, the meter and valve are outside the building, and they do expect they have it repaired. Other than the first gas strike, the instances were described to me as ‘normal’ incidents that tend to happen sometimes and nothing to worry about.
The gas company has scheduled yearly inspections and maintenance, and there has been nothing out of the ordinary. I have called SGC, however, and will share their statements with you as soon as I can.