Bossier crews to replace leaky gas valves at elementary school
The smell of natural gas caused classes at Elm Grove Elementary School to be delayed March 31.
ELM GROVE, LA (KSLA) -
Maintenance crews have shut off some of the heat to Elm Grove Elementary school, after finding what school leaders are calling "minuscule leaks" in the gas valves of some of the school's heating units.
According to Bossier Parish School spokesman Sonja Bailes, the issue is unrelated to a natural gas smell scare that delayed the start of school on March 31, for the third time in one month.
"Let me emphasize again no gas was ever detected inside the school by CenterPoint, Bossier Schools or by the independent third party," Bailes said in a statement.
The strong natural gas smell was completely safe and coming from a nearby injection site, said CenterPoint Energy spokesman Alicia Dixon.
"Utilities like CenterPoint Energy add an odorant to natural gas so customers can detect the presence of natural gas," Dixon said. "On rare occasions, too much odorant is injected causing the strong-smelling odorant to permeate the area. This is what caused the odor in the area."
Dixon said as part of protocol, CenterPoint Energy crews checked the school for any leaks and didn't find any problems on their end. Though if any leaks were found on the school's end, it would be their responsibility to fix, she said.
Bailes said crews didn't discover any leaks under normal pressure.
"Acting out of caution, the heating units in which the valves showed minuscule leaks were shut off and new valves have been ordered," she said.
Portable heaters have been brought into the classrooms without heating units. Bailes predicts the new valves will arrive and be installed by the end of the week.
As for the natural gas-like odor, Dixon says CenterPoint Energy will investigate why too much odorant is being added to the injection station near the school.