Damaged water line shutters Sembach schools, day care for at least two days

Along with students and staff from Sembach School Age Center, U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz Commander Col. Jason Edwards, left, and Command Sgt. Maj. Brett Waterhouse officially open the facility at Sembach Kaserne in February 2019. A damaged water line shut down services to the center and other buildings Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019.


By JENNIFER H. SVAN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 11, 2019

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — A damaged water line that shut down services to two base schools and a day care center at Sembach on Wednesday has been repaired, officials said.

But those facilities will remain closed through Thursday due to “an abundance of caution” while water samples in the line are tested, U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz spokesman Stefan Alford said in a statement.

Alternative care will be provided Thursday for children enrolled in the Child Development Center and the School Age Center. Whether those facilities would reopen on Friday is still being determined, he said.

Sembach elementary and middle schools, meanwhile, were scheduled to reopen Friday. The garrison, with help from the 405th Army Field Support Brigade, plans to provide 3,000 bottles of water for the students when they return to school, Alford said.

The water line went down late Tuesday when an excavator working to prepare the site for the new elementary school damaged it. Only buildings north of the fitness center were affected.

Water pressure was restored Wednesday afternoon, with plans to begin water testing soon afterward to ensure it meets U.S. drinking water-quality standards, Alford said. The water supply for firefighting and other emergency operations also was restored.

In the meantime, garrison officials provided details on alternative child care arrangements for Thursday:

• Sembach child care will be provided at the Kleber Child Development Center from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Parents may drop their children off at the Kleber CDC;

• Care for children enrolled in the Sembach school-age program will be provided at Landstuhl’s School Age Center. A bus will depart from the Sembach SAC parking lot at 7:30 a.m. and will return at 4:45 p.m. for parent pickup.

• The Sembach Youth Center will be closed Thursday.

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