Pool closed indefinitely after flooding from water main

By Kirk Boxleitner
Posted 6/5/24



A water main failure underneath Mountain View Campus caused major flooding damage from the evening of Tuesday, May 28, through the morning of Wednesday, May 29, shutting down …

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Pool closed indefinitely after flooding from water main




A water main failure underneath Mountain View Campus caused major flooding damage from the evening of Tuesday, May 28, through the morning of Wednesday, May 29, shutting down its pool until further notice.

The city of Port Townsend issued a press statement explaining that the 2.5-inch pipe failed under approximately 100 PSI of pressure, which inundated the facility’s boiler room and adjacent electrical panel “in a matter of minutes,” according to city public works director Steve King.

“These pipes are the original pipes,” King said. “It was difficult to shut the water off, given the high flows.” The pool opened in 1963. 

Although the city reported that staff responded right away, by the time the valve was shut off, the flooding had already done significant damage.

While a sump pump has been installed to combat past leaks in these areas, King noted the sump pump could not keep up with the volume of flow coming from the broken pipe.

The response that followed included city staff from the police, public works, parks, finance, IT, comms and administration departments, working with agency partners including the YMCA of Jefferson County, the Port Townsend Food Bank, Working Image, Dove House Advocacy Services and the American Red Cross, who are tenants at the Mountain View Campus.

The city also credited East Jefferson Fire Rescue and the Jefferson County Public Utility District 1 with providing immediate assistance, and thanked Salish Coast Elementary for accommodating the YMCA’s after-school enrichment program.

Although the campus’ power and water were restored by the afternoon of Friday, May 31, the city reported that the status of the facility’s boilers and heat remain unknown as of press time, since those systems sustained water damage, and the process for testing and replacing parts of those systems would need to be done in coordination with the city’s insurance provider and systems vendor.

“The critical element of the boiler relates only to the pool, because the boilers heat the pool,” said King, who pointed out that the rest of Mountain View was able to open up as soon as the plumbing was fixed, although the building will remain without heat until the boilers are fixed.

As such, pool operations have been suspended indefinitely, with no current estimated date of restoration, but the other campus partners and their operations have largely been restored.

King expressed concerns about obtaining the needed parts for the boilers, which he understands would “need to be torn down and rebuilt, to fix the water damage in addition to replacing their control panels.”

On Monday, June 3, the City Council was tasked with ratifying a state of emergency, that was declared by city manager John Mauro, to allow for immediate action and coordination with providers including electricians, with an initial cost estimate for repairs placed at $100,000 in the City Council packet.

The city encouraged the community to check its “CityofPT” Facebook page for further updates, while the YMCA welcomed all of its Jefferson County members, passholders and punch-card holders to swim at the Sequim YMCA pool.

Although its pool, showers and locker rooms will remain closed, the rest of the Mountain View YMCA’s facilities, including its front desk and gymnasium, reopened for regular hours on Tuesday, June 4.

The gymnasium is again open for pickleball, “Senior Stretch and Stability,” “Drizzle” women's basketball and free use when other programs are not scheduled.

The YMCA of Jefferson County also issued a statement that its youth enrichment program will remain at Salish Coast Elementary for the remainder of the school year, directing any questions or concerns to Youth Enrichment Program Coordinator John Carney at jcarney@olympicpeninsulaymca.org or 360-477-0142.

During the May 16 Intergovernmental Collaborative Group meeting of Jefferson County and its PUD, as well as the city and port of Port Townsend, Jefferson County District 3 Commissioner Greg Brotherton stated that the Healthier Together Task Force was considering a recommendation that the Mountain View Campus perhaps should not be considered as the site of a new pool.

On Sunday, May 26, prior to the Mountain View Campus flooding, Brotherton was asked about the recommendation. He noted the Healthier Together Task Force meeting, set for Thursday, June 6, at 6 p.m. should yield a “recommendation worth reporting.” He also expressed hope that the task force would come to a conclusion about a range of costs for repairs at that time.