SPX introduces new water main break drill


Miles Johnson, Editor-in-Chief

It’s no secret that the St. Pius X water main has some issues. Much to the delight of students, at least once a semester class will get interrupted with a special announcement telling everyone the water main burst and we get to go home early. Cheers erupt through the hallways, and we all begin making plans for what restaurant we’re headed to for lunch.

The St. Pius administration has had enough of the chaos.

“Look, we all know these rusty old pipes aren’t getting fixed anytime soon. We’re in DeKalb County,” said Principal Dr. Edye Simpson. “We will have water issues again in the future, probably the very near future.”

To be better prepared the next time a pipe bursts on our front lawn, the school will start doing monthly water main break drills.

“It’s about time we all start acting like we’ve been here before. Because we have,” Dr. Simpson said. 

The first drill will take place this Friday, March 31 the last five minutes of 8th period. At the sound of TLC’s “Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls” blasting over the announcements, students and teachers will calmly exit the same door they use during fire drills.

“With fire drills, we have the voice of that lady telling us to remain calm and not use the elevator. I think that’s so great because we can all use extra reminders from time to time, especially in a hectic situation,” said Director of Operations Mr. Blaise Wannemacher. “We’re working on adding something like that in one of our future drills. ‘Avoid the puddles and please, no splashing.’ Just something small like that to help keep the kids in line.”

Once outside, students will be instructed to line up while a designated administration team works to turn off the water and teachers pass out 8 oz. bottles of Deer Park water to their class, each one individually labeled with every student’s name.

“When Blaise told me that I’d have to help actually turn off the water to the school, I was a little alarmed at first, but then I remembered that this is exactly what servant leadership is,” said President Mr. Aaron Parr. How can I build a culture of trust and foster a mindset of unselfishness among my colleagues if I’m not even willing to turn off a valve? I don’t know where it is yet, but I’m eager to learn. “MTXE, baby!” 

While the goal is to keep these drills moving pretty quickly so students can get back to class and benefit from their college preparatory education for the formation of the mind, body, and spirit of each student in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church, administration is anticipating quite a bit of time the first few months.

“30 minutes, easily,” Mr. Parr said. “Those 8 oz bottles are small, and writing a name on every single one isn’t easy. The health and safety of our students is our number one priority, though, so we’re not going to mess around with kids sharing bottles and spreading germs. Not on my watch.”

The porta potties by the track will be available for students to use if they need to use the bathroom during the drill.

“We practice like we play,” said Dr. Simpson. “When that water main breaks again, we’re not going to be able to use bathrooms inside. We can’t always rely on modern luxuries like indoor plumbing.”

Water main issues can and will happen again, and St. Pius is doing all they can to help future evacuations go as smoothly as possible.