Two schools down the street from one another in Bath Beach are suffering from a mysterious problem with their plumbing, a problem that doesn't look like it's going to be fixed any time soon. NY1's Lindsey Christ filed the following exclusive report.
At P.S./I.S. 163, and several blocks away at P.S./I.S. 229, there is something wrong with the water.
"It turned blue or green, and it just stopped completely," said one student.
It stopped completely several weeks ago because the Department of Education turned it off, everywhere but the toilets. School officials said that's because they don't know what is wrong with the water, and while they've been investigating it for weeks, they still don't have any answers.
"They've said there's been extensive testing done, but they have not said what they found in water to turn off the water. Obviously, something to make them concerned for the children's well being," said Kim Jalet, a parent at P.S./I.S. 163. "But the question is, how long has the water been contaminated before it turned blue?"
Both schools had major additions built within the last four years, and while the whole building is effected at P.S. 229, the odd-colored water only appeared in the new section of the P.S. 163 building.
NY1 asked the DOE if the same contractors worked on both projects, but a spokesperson said the city had used different firms. Still, parents and teachers said the problem raises red flags about the quality of the construction.
"You wonder if there is any connection, why two schools have no water and yet, all of the houses in the neighborhood have their water working," Jalet said.
Meanwhile, there's the germ concern, something several teachers say has become an increasingly sticky situation.
"We use sanitizer and baby wipes," said one student.
"My dad is upset about this because we have a lot of germs on our hands and we're not going to get to clean ourselves well," said another.
Then, there's school lunch. Without a working kitchen, it has to be brought in, and often, it's delayed.
"It's been very hard for my mom and my parents to make lunch every day because I have two other siblings, and sometimes, we eat late, so everyone's really hungry," said one student.
The DOE said it hopes to be able to figure out the cause of the problem within the next two to three weeks. Only then will officials be able to determine how to fix it, whatever it may be.