Tribal Government & News

Water leak shuts down Education complex for a day; repairs successful

02.26.2020 Dean Rhodes Education, Tribal employees

By Dean Rhodes

Smoke Signals editor

A water leak first detected in the afternoon of Tuesday, Feb. 25, forced the Wednesday closure of the Education complex on the Grand Ronde campus.

Other buildings affected included the Tribal gym and Archive building.

Facilities Manager Tyson Mercier said grounds keeping staff members Brady Bruckner and Anthony Henry detected the leak at 4:27 p.m. Tuesday, but they were unable to isolate where the leak was occurring.

Mercier and Utility Specialist Richard Smith arrived shortly thereafter and helped troubleshoot the issue, but without success.

Mercier contacted the Grand Ronde Community Water Association and its staff started shutting off valves to successfully isolate the leak at about 6 p.m.

Mercier said that West Valley Fire District was contacted because fire hydrants and sprinkler systems were affected. Tribal Security personnel helped with a fire watch, as well as swing-shift housekeeping staff members during their shift.

“A fire watch has been underway since 5:33 p.m. Tuesday,” Mercier said.

He added that he received a text from the Water Association at 2:23 p.m. Wednesday that “all is normal” and repairs to rusted bolts on a saddle have been successful. A work crew could be seen filling in a hole on the southeast corner of the courtyard in front of the Governance Center shortly thereafter and the gym re-opened at 2:45 p.m.