Concern: Harper’s Choice Middle School: October 24th, 2019 (CXHCMS2019000124)

507 - Science
Date of IEQ Report Form
Date of Report
A musty odor was sensed in two cabinets.
IEQ Investigation Process

Identify deficiencies that may impact IEQ and/or sources of odor concerns. Typically includes the following depending on the nature of concern, but not limited to:

  • interview/questionnaire of concern individual(s)
  • inspection above drop ceiling (condition of roof deck, pipe insulation, return air plenum)
  • inspection of ventilation system (operation of variable air volume box and outdoor air dampers, check controls, measurements of carbon dioxide, temperature and relative humidity, sources near outdoor air intake, measure return and supply air volume, cleanliness of coils, liner and condensate pan)
  • inspection of exterior
  • inspection below drop ceiling (housekeeping, sink and floor drain traps, signs of past and present moisture concern via visual and/or moisture meter, mold growth, ensure connection of current and capping of abandoned sanitary vents, odorizers, excessive plants and fabric items, identify potential pathways, and measure volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, and lighting)

Date(s) of Assessment: October 30 and November 18, 2019

The custodian reported a recent leak (October 22) in the space in association with the plumbing. Additionally, the safety shower had also been used recently causing additional water to impact materials.

Elevated moisture was detected within two of the three lab bench cabinets that had sinks (Bench 1/4 and Bench 3/6). 

Both cabinets contain plumbing in which a thinner diameter drain line drops into a thicker diameter sanitary line. The pipes are not connected. This likely causes splashing into the cabinets when water is in use. Additionally, the open sanitary line could be a potential odor source. 

The plumbing configuration noted above was not present in Bench 2/5. The sanitary and drain line were connected. No elevated moisture was detected in bench 2/5.

No elevated moisture was detected in the drywall.

A musty odor was present in the cabinets associated with Bench 1/4 and 3/6. Building Services (Carpentry) cut an access panel in Bench 1/4 so the back side of the bottom of the cabinetry could be viewed. Mold growth was observed on the backside of the cabinetry in Bench 1/4.

Upon a subsequent visit, mold growth (not present in October) was observed within the cabinet (Bench 3/6). Presumably, this growth was associated with the poor plumbing connection noted above.

Corrective Actions
November 18th, 2019

Building Services (Carpentry) met with the school's Administration. It was decided to completely remove the cabinetry and discard it as the sinks/cabinets are not regularly used. The plumbing will be capped and covered. 

Date Closed
Tracking Number