UISD reports third water issue in a week as Laredo middle school has early release

Dorothy S. Bass


For the third time in a week, United Independent School District reported a water issue with one of its schools.

Friday’s incident was the second in which a school needed to be dismissed early due to a water-related issue. Unlike the previous issues that were due to City of Laredo water issues that affected the school district, this time it was a problem within a UISD property that needed attention. 

The latest instance happened in the southern part of the city, as this time the affected school was Lamar Bruni Vergara Middle School. The help of the City of Laredo was also requested by the district for this issue in efforts for UISD employees to be able to work on their side of the problem. 

“The main water line at Lamar Bruni Vergara Middle School has a very large leak,” UISD said in a statement. “The school’s water supply had to be shut off in order to repair the leak, which will take several hours. As such, the students and staff at Lamar Bruni Vergara Middle School have been released for the day.”

LMT spoke to UISD on Friday evening as an official stated that the situation was improving and they believe that the water line issue would be fixed later that night. 

“It’s going good, we are fixing to repair the male adapter to the mainline that provides water to the school,” said Daisy Aguilera Navarro, the maintenance and operations manager of UISD. “We have our guys working out there, and they should be finishing late this evening on that repair.”

According to Navarro, the cause of this latest instance was normal wear and tear, and the fact that at the Lamar Bruni Vergara Middle School, the district has had issues with the amount of water pressure which “causes the joints to burst over time.”

She added that this happens simply out of the blue and is unexpected. 

“It is something just unexpected,” Navarro said. “It is something that is not very common.”

Water issues have been a problem all this week for the district. On Tuesday, it had to release early students for low water pressure problems because of a city pipe that was damaged. The schools affected were the Senator Judith Zaffirini Elementary School, Bonnie Garcia Elementary School and Antonio Gonzalez Middle School. UISD’s Bill Johnson Student Activity Center was also impacted as well as one of the district’s instructional and administrative buildings in the area.

On Thursday, another water issue occurred at the same locations listed above, but due to the fact that the water outage caused by a line break early that morning, it was fixed and water pressure was restored promptly which prevented early dismissals.

According to UISD Spokesman Jose Sanchez, UISD Assistant Superintendent of Facilities and Construction Enrique Rangel stated that the Thursday issue was a separate but similar incident. However, Sanchez states that they were able to isolate the problem quickly and restore service within an hour.

“Although the situation at Lamar Bruni Vergara Middle School today was an isolated issue with one of the district’s water lines, the water outages at UISD schools have largely been due to issues with City of Laredo water lines,” said Sanchez regarding the frequent issues this week.

Navarro added that when it comes to issues that the maintenance team can quickly fix, they do so as promptly as possible to avoid any disruption on instruction, which happened on Tuesday and on Friday at those respective schools. 

Navarro also stated that none of the previous issues had anything to do with what happened on Friday. 

The most recent issue was a bit different as the damaged pipe this time was a UISD water line, not a City of Laredo water line. However, the district did report that they were working with the city to shut off water for the repair.

“In this particular incident, we did have the help of the city because they had to go out there and shut down the main supply line that was on their side to be able to give us access to do our repairs,” Navarro said. 

Another difference was that this time featured an isolated incident with no other UISD campus affected. This is despite the fact that the middle school is very close to Lyndon B. Johnson High School. 

According to UISD, regular classes are expected to resume on Monday again when the issue is fixed.

“On Monday morning, we expect the students to return to classes as scheduled,” Navarro said. 


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