West Seattle traffic alert: Another water problem

December 31, 2013 at 12:42 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

12:42 PM: Third one in five days in West Seattle, by our count – thanks to Nancy for the photo from 112th/Marine View Drive (map), where a Seattle Public Utilities crew has just arrived to fix a reported pipe problem. This follows Delridge and Gatewood trouble (reported here Monday). We are seeking more information from SPU, and will update with whatever we hear back.

ADDED 2:55 PM: We asked SPU’s Ingrid Goodwin about both this situation and the 41st/Frontenac one, which was still under investigation when we talked with her yesterday:

Crews just finished (about 1 pm) the leak repair on 41st and Frontenac. The leak was on a service line, not the water main.

The water main break on 112th and Marine View Drive is on a 4″ pipe. Crews are onsite making the repair now.

It’s not unusual for there to be leaks and small breaks on a daily basis throughout the City. Seattle does have aging infrastructure and some of the pipes are nearly 100 years old. Our crews stay busy with maintenance, repair and upgrades to the system.

6 Comments

  1. Any chance these are related? Some idiot damaging multiple pipe infrastructure just … because?

    Comment by Ray — 1:04 pm December 31, 2013 #

  2. well, Ray, the first thought that comes to mind is..how would he get underground to do that without digging up the street?

    Comment by JanS — 1:45 pm December 31, 2013 #

  3. I did not say it would be easy, but most of the city’s 8 inch pipes are very old and deteriorating anyway. It would not take much to weaken one, with a metal prop (say a thin metal pipe) that could be pushed down through dirt to fracture the pipe that later breaks under use.

    I know. Occam’s Razor – most likely just really old infrastructure of the same type installed near the same time that is failing at about the same time…..

    Comment by Ray — 2:02 pm December 31, 2013 #

  4. Actually, they wouldn’t need to dig into the street. Just get access to a regular water tap (as close to the street as possible) and overpressure back into the mains. Wouldn’t always work, and often you would damage the local pipe first, but runs to the house get replace more often than the stuff under the street, so you’d have a good chance of blowing out something in an inconvenient place. The size of pump required to overpressure a municipal system is not that big really.

    Comment by MAS — 2:25 pm December 31, 2013 #

  5. it more than likely has to do with the recent stretch of seriously cold weather; even if the pipes didn’t get that cold, the ground shifts with the freezes and thaws over the years until we get the one that finally breaks a few pipes here and there. Once there is a dribble, the ground starts to erode, the pipe sags more, more water leaks, etc.

    Comment by metrognome — 6:53 pm December 31, 2013 #

  6. BTW, I agree with metrognome completely. I was just answering JanS’s question.

    Never attribute to malice what could be just poor maintenance.

    Comment by MAS — 10:23 pm December 31, 2013 #

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