A school in Japan’s Kanagawa prefecture received a $27,000 water bill after a teacher left a tap running for months in hopes of preventing coronavirus infections in a swimming pool.
The teacher, whose name was withheld from reports, left the tap on from late June to early September last year.
While pool water quality is managed via filtration and chlorination, the teacher mistakenly believed that a constant flow of fresh water into the pool would keep children safe from the virus.
Akira Kojiri, a local education board official, said, “The teacher somehow got the wrong idea that pouring new water in would also do the trick and even help prevent Covid.”
When some staff members would turn off the tap, the teacher would reportedly turn it back on.
An estimated 4,000 tonnes (1,056,680 gallons) of excess water was wasted in over two months, which is enough to fill up the school’s pool at least 11 times.
“We deeply apologize to our residents for causing (financial) damage to our city,” Yokosuka authorities wrote in a statement.
Local authorities are demanding that the teacher and two other supervisors pay half of the 3.5 million yen (approximately $27,000) water bill.