Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Garth Meyer
Gazette Reporter 

Tekoa pool run ends post mudslide


September 6, 2018 | View PDF

Tekoa swim pool completed its summer run for 2018 Friday after a mudslide last winter made for much work to ensure the season would happen.

Opening on June 12, the last day of school, the pool was ready after thousands of buckets of mud were taken out, among other repair work.

"I asked one day, 'we're on bucket 500,' they said," Denise Angelo, manager of the pool, said.

After last November's mudslide – caused by a blown end-cap on a water main at a Tekoa school building up the hillside from the pool – no repair could be done over the winter.

The mud knocked a light pole from its concrete foundation and into the water, tore out a cyclone fence and broke apart a picnic table – sending pieces of it to the opposite side of the pool.

The Tekoa parks board called for bids on the repair in the spring. The contract went to Pool Service Company of Spokane, which started work May 3.

Much of the dirt and blocks of retaining wall that came down the hill remained on the deck of the pool, for which a skid steer was used to haul it out.

For inside the pool, dirt was scooped by hand with five-gallon buckets.

"A dozen young guys were in there," said Jon Hall of the Tekoa Parks board.

Tekoa swim pool

--Fred Wagner photo

Workers from Pool Service Company of Spokane clear dirt and water in May at the Tekoa swim pool.

After all the dirt was cleared, the contractors did a light acid wash to clean mudstains from the surface of the pool.

The work was all done in five weeks.

"We were cranking," said Hall.

A pump was replaced along with fencing. The job was paid for by school district insurance at a final cost of $84,300.

The light pole was replaced, but wiring has yet to be installed. Night swims have not been held at the pool for this year.

Other contractors involved in the project were Northwest Fence, Pool World and Gabbard Electric.

Work on the hillside was done separately by a contractor hired by the school district.

Hall and Fred Wagner were the lead pool board members to oversee the pool repair project. Both were elected last November, in the same week the mudslide hit.


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