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School in Yokosuka receives 3,5m JPY water bill

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Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
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Sometimes it's mind-boggling what sort of stories makes it into the international news. I could not find any mention of this in Japanese news portals, but it's been all over international websites. Apparently, a teacher in Yokosuka wanted to prevent Covid infections in the school swimming pool by leaving the water tap running from June to September 2021. The water bill amounted to some 3,5 million JPY.

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.

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