Water pipe troubles led to another local school’s students being dismissed unexpectedly Thursday, in a week of pipe problems that has affected thousands of Jefferson City residents as well as schools, daycares and health facilities.
Jefferson City Public Schools announced Thursday afternoon on social media that a water line break “within a non-occupied lower level” of Jefferson City High School meant the building’s water had to be shut off, and that prompted the dismissal of students at 1:30 p.m.
JCPS said students, staff and parents had been alerted and buses would transport students home via their normal routes. Students who normally ride to Simonsen 9th Grade Center and catch a transfer bus there would instead board their typical bus at JCHS and be transported home. Car riders were able to leave upon dismissal.
All afternoon and evening activities at JCHS were cancelled.
The district said the pipe break was not a safety concern for students, “and there is no impact to any other JCPS buildings or bus routes.”
JCPS Director of Communications Ryan Burns said later Thursday afternoon, “It was an older line that broke today. It was slated either to be removed or rerouted as part of the renovation process.”
JCHS is being extensively renovated while a second public high school — Capital City High School — is under construction.
“It’s hard to determine definitively what caused the failure,” but it was being looked into and water quality was being tested, Burns said, with no further information about any damage the pipe break may have caused or the timeline of the pipe’s fix available at the time.
As of 6:45 p.m., the water was back on in the building and all sources of water were tested, Burns said. She said school would be back in session today.
JCHS is only the latest of other schools and facilities in Jefferson City to have troubles with water supply infrastructure this week.
Two water main breaks on Southwest Boulevard on Tuesday night into Wednesday caused a loss of pressure that closed Helias Catholic High School and some local daycare and health facilities Wednesday, and prompted a precautionary boil water advisory that had students at Helias and other schools Wednesday and Thursday drinking bottled water or water brought from home.
That boil advisory was lifted Thursday afternoon.
Missouri American Water announced shortly after 3 p.m. Thursday the precautionary boil advisory caused by the two water main breaks on Southwest Boulevard had been lifted.
“Water quality tests completed this afternoon confirmed that the water is safe for consumption,” Brian Russell, Missouri American’s external affairs manager, said on Thursday.
“It is no longer advised that customers in the affected area boil their water before drinking or cooking,” Russell said. Customers were also being notified via reverse-911 calls and social media.
The water main breaks on Southwest Boulevard had affected up to 5,500 Missouri American customers — roughly half of all its customers in Jefferson City. Missouri American had provided thousands of bottles of water to students at several affected schools.