Detroit investigates sewage spill concerns at Mumford High School

DETROIT (WXYZ) - It started when one mom called 7 Action News for help fixing her daughter's school.

She said she was worried about her daughter and the hundreds of students at Mumford High School, because the school smelled like sewage. She said it couldn't possibly be sanitary.

When we went to work to find out if the school was safe, we got very different answers from the school district and the health department.

“They (school administrators) are refusing to close the school, so the kids are stuck in the school smelling like feces,” said Leslie Anderson, a mom to a junior at the school.

Her daughter started complaining last week. She told her she saw sewage leaking.

“It is not safe. You wouldn’t want that dripping on you,” said Anderson. “It is disgusting.”

When we stopped by the school, a student told us she was instructed to clean up what appeared to be sewage water leaking through the ceiling into her classroom.

"I had to clean it up. because it almost got on the computers,” said  Alexis Ingram, a Mumford High Senior.

Mumford High is part of the Education Achievement Authority. An EAA spokesperson told 7 Action News, "Yesterday an issue was reported with the second floor bathrooms at Mumford High School. We immediately dispatched maintenance and plumbing staff to address the issue. Yesterday evening the issue was resolved and the bathroom was on line for use.”

Anderson said her daughter noticed a problem last Friday, not yesterday. She said the problem was still there.

7 Action News called the city to see if it was investigating any complaints. We were told the city was not, but would send out an inspector from the health department.

The health department says the inspector late Wednesday afternoon found the smell in the building was overwhelming. He requested a Water and Sewerage Department crew check it out. 

He also said something needed to be done to further sanitize the building for it to remain open. 

7 Action News called the EAA for further comment in response to the health department. We were told, “We currently do not have any reports from the Health Department stating we are to close the school.”

A health department spokesperson said a report will be sent to the EAA soon.

Just after midnight Thursday, the EAA sent 7 Action News an email saying Mumford High School was cleared by the Executive Director of the Detroit Health Department and will be open for class on Thursday.

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