Mt. Pleasant School to remain closed Friday; hunt for water-leak source continues

School's principal said plumbers will return to the rural Washougal K-8 school Friday to search for the cause of school's water pressure woes

The Mt. Pleasant School in east Washougal will close on Friday, Jan. 6, for a third consecutive day as emergency repairs continue for what Principal Cathy Lehmann described in a letter to families as “a substantial water leak with tree roots involved” near the school’s pump house. 

“The repair is not complete,” Lehmann told The Post-Record on Thursday, Jan. 5. 

Lehmann said repair crews failed to find the location of the leak on Thursday, and would return to search again Friday, Jan. 6. 

“Plumbers are returning early tomorrow to continue,” Lehmann said. “It is a work in progress.”

School leaders are “making contingency plans to try and have a water alternative in place should we need it on Monday,” Lehmann wrote to families on Thursday.

Lehmann said the school’s water system is connected to a spring and pump house on Turk Road, just east of the school.

“We do not have any damage other than (a lack of) water,” Lehmann added. 

After noticing a loss of water pressure “all day” on Tuesday, Jan. 3, school administrators announced a two-hour delay to the start of the school day the next morning. The school remained closed for the entire day Wednesday, Jan. 4, however, as a leak-detection company inspected the school’s water lines, according to Lehmann. 

Lehmann wrote in a letter to families on Wednesday that work crews would be onsite the next day to repair the water leak and that she was “very hopeful” the repairs will be completed in time for the school to open on Friday, Jan. 6. 

“The county was very helpful today to move this project forward as an emergency repair and they have already approved the work area for us,” Lehmann wrote to families on Wednesday. 

But those hopes were dashed after the plumbers couldn’t discover the source of the leak on Thursday. 

“I am sorry to report that our water problems are continuing,” Lehmann wrote in a Facebook post later in the day on Thursday. “Today we had several workers here digging in the impacted areas. They were unable to locate the water leak. They will begin work again early tomorrow morning … and we will need to stay closed tomorrow to continue this work.”