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Water-main break left school without water
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A water main break in the Oak Hill/Livingston area left Livingston Elementary School without water for a few hours Tuesday.

A contractor hired by the Newton County Water and Sewer Authority working to prepare roads for a road-relocation project broke a water-main pipe around 11 a.m., just before lunchtime at the elementary school.

Mike Hopkins, executive director of the Newton County Water and Sewer Authority, said because the Georgia Department of Transportation is working to relocate a road in the area, the water and sewer authority hired contractors to move its water mains. He said the contractor accidently hit a water main pipe, and water had to be cut off at the school as repairs were made.

"We took some water to the schools. It’s back in service now. Everything is fine, and should be (ready) to go tomorrow morning," Hopkins said Tuesday. "That pipe has been in the ground for possibly about 20 years. It was just an accident from the contractors that we hired, but we had staff on site that made contact with the principals and made sure everything was OK in the school and that the fire hydrants were still operational … if there was a fire or anything like that."

"We did have to shut the water off for a couple of hours to make the repair, and like I said, everything is back on. They didn’t, from what I understand, have to let the schools out or anything like that, so we got on it right away."

Sherri Davis-Viniard, Director of Public Relations for Newton County Schools, said water was brought in for students to drink and wash hands. In addition, hot water was provided for cafeteria staff to wash their hands. She said bottled water was already on campus and additional water was purchased locally or brought from other locations.

"Unfortunately, the toilets were not flushable during this time period," she said.

Hopkins said the water main pipe was repaired within three to four hours. He said water was restored at the school shortly after 3 p.m