Talked with Seattle Public Utilities‘ Andy Ryan a little while ago to follow up on the Seaview water break that turned into a gas-line break (as chronicled here last night). First we asked about the timeline and response, since commenters had wondered about that: Ryan says they got the call at 11:05 am yesterday, “water in the street.” It was “logged as priority 8″ – one step down from level 9, which requires response within an hour; in this case, he says, it took a crew two hours, and they arrived at 1:03 pm. One commenter wondered about furloughs (the city is requiring some because of budget cuts); that had nothing to do with it – it was a union crew, and they’re not affected by furloughs. As for what broke the water main – it’s a 71-year-old line, which is not old by SPU standards; it’s cast iron and they can last up to 200 years. Ryan says it appears a rock got lodged between the water line and a sewer line running right beneath it. So why did repair crews wind up rupturing a gas line? “A new gas main had been placed there but wasn’t accurately marked on the map,” Ryan says, “so our crews found the old one, but the new one wasn’t where it was supposed to be – and got ‘nicked’. Our maps are usually pretty good.” Again, as we reported at 5:30 this morning, the repairs were complete and water service restored in the early-early-morning hours. (Monday evening photo courtesy Doug B)
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