Harper ISD cancels classes for second day after water pump failure

FILE - Drinking water (KXAN File PHoto)
FILE - Drinking water (KXAN File PHoto)

HARPER, Texas (KXAN) — The Harper Independent School District has canceled classes for a second day after a water pump failure, affecting about 100 customers in the town located around 20 miles west of Fredericksburg.

Aqua America, which owns Aqua Texas — the water provider in Harper — says the sole well serving Harper lost power Wednesday night. Power was restored around 11 p.m.

Water pressure had dropped below the required level by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, forcing Aqua Texas to issue a boil water notice for 100 to 105 customers.

As required, the company took a water sample to TCEQ Thursday morning to have it tested to ensure the water is safe to drink. Officials say they expect to learn the results of the test on Friday morning. If the water is deemed safe to drink, the boil notice will be lifted.

Harper ISD, which serves about 600 students, canceled classes for Thursday late Wednesday night. After learning test results would not be back until Friday, the district canceled classes again.

Superintendent Chris Stevenson tells KXAN the district simply could not boil enough water for students to use throughout the day. The district also had to stop extracurricular activities, forcing them to move some such as home football games to away sites.

Because of a new state law, Harper ISD students will likely not have to make up the time missed in the classroom. The state now measures instructional time in minutes rather than days. As the district was putting together their calendar, Stevenson says administrators included enough time for nearly seven extra school days.

Even though students are off, Harper says teachers are still required to come to work because they have to work the number of days written into their contracts.

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