Concern: Glenelg High School: January 4th, 2023 (CXXGHS2023000265)

Rooms 139-144, 146, and 173.
Date of IEQ Report Form
Date of Report
Heating fan coil unit outside room 173 near back exit door pipe burst during winter break due to recent freezing weather.
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:  December 25, 27, and 30, 2022 and January 1, 3, and 6, 2023

On December 25, Building Services initially responded to address source, extract water, and determine impacted areas (140/FACS, 143/staff lounge, 144, 145, 146, and 173).

On December 27, the Office of Environment performed a moisture assessment using visual cues and moisture detection equipment.  Impacted carpeting was dry. Items determined to still be wet and needing attention included the following:

  • Room 140 - The base of drywall and wood casework around kitchen cooking stations and book case along office wall.
  • Room 143 - Visible water still present at ends of plumbed casework, furniture, and closet.  The base of wood related casework was wet.  The room had a damp musty odor not detected in other impacted areas.
  • Rooms 144 and 146 - The first ~8' of drywall (base) shared by both rooms at the doorways into the classrooms.
  • Room 173 - Odor associated with the bio-degradation of trace amounts of propylene glycol (anti-freeze) within the mechanical system (served the failed fan coil unit). Propylene glycol is generally recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration and it is often found in cosmetics, food, and pharmaceuticals. It is also used to make smoke/fog in fire-fighting training and theatrical productions.

Building Services responded by removing cove base and drilling holes within the base of impacted wood and drywall then placing air movers to dry impacted material.  Building Services indicated the casework (plumbed with sink) in room 143 was rotted (might have been the odor source) thus removed.  Upon removal of the casework, Building Services reported ~30 square feet of undisturbed floor tile located under the casework. This was assumed to be asbestos-containing.  The Office of Environment utilized the services of board-approved asbestos abatement contractor and environmental consultant (air monitoring and oversees project) to address the flooring.  This activity will be documented in the school's asbestos management plan.

On December 30, the Office of Environment did a follow up assessment and determined a small section of drywall between rooms 144 and 146 was still wet along with the kitchen cooking station areas in room 140.  The odor within room 173 was still detectable.  To address the odor, Facility personnel were instructed to inspect and address floor receptacle trench boxes, clean under file cabinets, as a precaution blow air under two minor pieces of casework, and ensure the fan coil unit that was the source was cleaned up so not to emit any residual odor.  Personnel had also decided to clean the floor tile of the classroom.

On January 1, the kitchen cooking stations in room 140 were still damp and the odor was still detectable in room 173.  To address the odor, the Office of Environment recommended to Building Services to continuously operate the ventilation unit serving room 173 with additional outdoor air for a couple of days while weather was suitable.

On January 3, the odor in room 173 was not detectable (early school morning with class in session).  The base of the kitchen cooking stations is room 140 was drying appropriately.

On January 6, just the ends of the kitchen cooking stations in room 140 were still showing elevated moisture readings.  The Office of Environment peeled remaining cove base off and instructed custodial staff to direct air movers to force air at the ends after school hours and during weekend to complete drying process.

On January 9, the drying process was completed.  The above actions are meant to prevent microbial growth.

Tracking Number