West Seattle power-outage update: Highland Park, Puget Ridge, and beyond go dark late Saturday night; some back on

August 29, 2015 at 11:45 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 36 Comments

(PLEASE SCROLL DOWN for newest info)

11:45 PM: We’re not sure of the extent yet, but power flickered here and apparently has gone out in at least part of Highland Park.

11:48 PM UPDATE: This is the biggest outage for West Seattle in this storm, by far. At least 2,100 customers, per City Light’s outage map. It’s stretching into parts of White Center and South Park. Adding a screengrab from City Light’s map. There are some reports of what looked like “explosions” so possibly a blown transformer in HP.

11:56 PM UPDATE: The map also shows Puget Ridge and part of North Delridge affected. And it shows what looks like two outages – one listed as 2,105 customers, another as 972, so more than 3,000 may be out.

12:54 AM UPDATE: If you have to do any early-morning driving, note that some stoplights are out – including 8th/Roxbury (which is dicey in even the best conditions) and 1st/Myers on the way to/from 509 – Roxbury had lights between those two spots, though.

5:45 AM UPDATE: As noted in comments, some of the 3,000 who were out have power back. Here’s who’s still out:

The map, however, is classifying these areas of West Seattle and South Park as three outages that started around 4 am, though if you compare you’ll see they’re part of the previous outage zone. The restoration guesstimate currently is noon.

6:46 AM UPDATE: Jeremy says in comments that Highland Park Way remains closed. We’ll be out checking on that when it’s a bit lighter – and will also be checking on a holdover from Saturday’s earlier problems, the dangling-tree-in-lines situation that had 35th SW closed between Avalon and Alaska.

7:47 AM UPDATE: SCL’s map has now adjusted the start time back to when the outage really started – about quarter to midnight last night – and the number of customers out now totals about 1,300.

STORM COVERAGE: Windy in West Seattle; power-outage updates; downed trees; 35th SW closure

August 29, 2015 at 11:34 am | In Utilities, West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | 58 Comments

(PLEASE SCROLL DOWN for updates – most recent one, 5:53 pm)

11:34 AM: The wind has arrived – as the National Weather Service warned it would – and the first outages are on Seattle City Light‘s map: Both small, both blamed on trees, one on Seola Beach Drive in southwesternmost West Seattle, one in Westwood near 34th/Cloverdale. We’ll be tracking the storm here throughout the afternoon – if there’s tree, power, road, etc. trouble where you are, please let us know (after you’ve alerted the authorities) – thanks!

12:27 PM: As Taz just pointed out in comments, there’s a new outage by Constellation Park, south of Alki Point. Since the wind’s out of the south/southwest, that’s the side of the West Seattle waterfront feeling it the most – we’re further down Beach Drive by Emma Schmitz right now – see the short phone-video clip above.

12:43 PM: The Alki Point-area outage is now up to 138 customers, according to the SCL map, which has added a new West Seattle outage, in North Delridge.

12:51 PM: Along with a tree that’s been leaning against wires and a fence just north of West Seattle Stadium over the NB lanes of 35th SW for a while (added above: photo of that tree, sent by Chuck Jacobs – thanks!), we now have a report that a tree’s down on Highland Park Way.

(Photos from Sarahjean – [updated] Sylvan Way branch cleared by her husband, first photo, and bus riders, 2nd photo)
1:12 PM: According to MetPatrick via Twitter, the HP Way tree/branch is cleared out of the roadway. While we’re in a sunbreak, it won’t likely last – dark clouds heading up from the south/southwest and rain is still in the forecast.

1:36 PM: New updates in comments (thank you!) – a tree blocking Marine View Drive at California. By the way, in case you wondered, waves vs. shore action is not too bad because low tide was at 11 am and high tide – fairly high, 11.7 feet, since the moon’s full – isn’t until about quarter till 6 this evening. (added) Be careful wherever you walk/ride/drive – lots of tree branches and twigs down too – WSB’s Christopher Boffoli sent this from 35th SW by Our Lady of Guadalupe:

2:19 PM: The tree over NB 35th SW north of West Seattle Stadium, mentioned earlier, now has police blocking the outside NB lane and yellow tape closing the sidewalk from the south side of the stadium entrance:

Crews are stretched around the city, so it might be a while before this can be addressed, and it will be tricky because it’s on the other side of the fence along 35th. Elsewhere – looks like this tree did some damage to a vehicle – the texter described the location as North Delridge, near Pearls:

Newest outage on the map is near 28th/Holden, as of of less than 10 minutes ago, another small one, at least as gauged so far.

2:43 PM: The Alki Point outage has been upped to 190 customers, with restoration guesstimate around 7 pm (remember, those are really just guesses, but it’s what you’ll see on the SCL outage map); commenters have mentioned an outage east of Fairmount Park but that one doesn’t seem to be on the map. Look here for what IS showing; call 206-684-3000 if you’re out and not sure the utility knows already.

Above, a photo texted to us from 25th/Cloverdale – note the vehicle under the tree. The wind warning remains in effect until 6 pm.

3:21 PM: Drove the length of Marine View Drive, now all clear (aside from twigs, needles, stems here and there, like just about every road we’ve traveled today).

3:32 PM: Via e-mail, Chas says 35th is now closed at the scene of the tree mentioned earlier – we’ll head back out to check in a moment. West Seattle still has five outages on the map, the biggest one, the 190 customers out south of Alki Point.

And, via text, another tree-branch-on-vehicle, this time 24th/Holden:

If you’re wondering what happened to the predicted rain – showers remain in the forecast throughout the day, then potentially heavier rain tonight.

4:55 PM: 35th is indeed blocked off by police – though Metro’s getting through – between Alaska and Avalon, until the unsafe-tree situation is handled. We’ll be checking back. The wind, meantime, has calmed, even here in the southwest-exposed area where we are. For some, the afternoon’s weather was pure fun:

Thanks to Gary Jones for the photo from Alki Point.

5:09 PM: Kristin reports another dangling-tree-against-wire-over-road situation, this one over the west side of Sylvan between High Point and Delridge. She has reported to authorities. And Guy sent us this photo of one at 39th and Manning:

Do be sure to report these – start with City Light at 206-684-3000 – their crews are still slammed all around the city right now so you might not see anyone for a while, but it doesn’t mean you’re not on the list. Speaking of City Light, the map shows a new, small outage, this time in Seaview, near 45th and Findlay. That means seven pocket outages around WS.

5:53 PM: Thanks to Thom for the photo of crews working by Bar-S Field, in/by the Alki Point outage zone:

Meantime, the rain’s back, with the second intense cloudburst right now in less than half an hour.

6:58 PM: Checked while out a few minutes ago, and 35th remains blocked between Alaska and Avalon. One more traffic note – Dave warns that it’s slippery on the ramp from the bridge to NB 99.

7:25 PM: The SCL map shows the South Alki outage fixed – please let us know in comments if that’s not the case.

8:32 PM: In case you didn’t see this in comments – the “boat taking on water/minor” call that briefly brought a sizable SFD response to Beach Drive involved a boat with no one on board, according to a neighbor who says it belongs to someone who lives in the area and adds that SFD pumped some water out of it before departing. Now, a view from early this morning, before the wind kicked up – Ken Pendergrass made this serene time-lapse video from his Duwamish Head balcony:

Ken says the recording covers a time span from around 7 am to 10 am.

11:52 PM: We’ve launched a NEW story to cover the big new outage that just happened in Highland Park and beyond – go here.

ROAD-WORK ALERT: West Seattle Bridge lane closure for sewer work

August 28, 2015 at 10:35 am | In Utilities, West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 1 Comment

You might have noticed the setup for this already. From the city:

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is conducting emergency sewer repair work on the West Seattle Bridge/Fauntleroy Way SW ramp heading eastbound. From Friday, August 28th, at 7:00 pm to Sunday, August 30th, at 3:00 pm, SPU crews will be excavating as part of an emergency sewer-repair project. The inside eastbound lane will be closed during this time and drivers should allow extra time for their trips due to possible congestion in this area.

SPU crews will continue the work with roadway panel replacement the weekend of September 11. They plan to work from Friday, September 11th, at 7:00 pm to the afternoon of September 13.

Using less water? City says voluntary goal’s being met, so far

August 26, 2015 at 1:13 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 11 Comments

Two weeks after asking people to cut water use by 10 percent, Seattle Public Utilities and its counterparts in Tacoma and Everett say the goal has been reached – and they hope that will continue TFN. They’ll be providing regional updates every two weeks. Their major advice remains:

* Let lawns go dormant and limit plant watering to twice a week.
* Water plants before 8 a.m. or after 7 p.m.
* Reduce showering time.
* Check for and fix leaks.
* Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes.

This is all still voluntary, in hopes of avoiding mandatory reductions.

Timetable for arterial streetlight switchover to LEDs: Still a few years away for most of West Seattle

August 25, 2015 at 12:46 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

After switching residential streetlights to LEDs – which cast light in a dramatically different way from their predecessors – Seattle City Light is working on arterials, as first announced two years ago. But West Seattle arterials aren’t scheduled for the change any sooner than 2017, according to the utility’s recent update. SCL says the new lights use up to two-thirds less energy and last up to four times longer, among other attributes. Our area’s busiest city road got them almost two years ago.

West Seattle storm watch: 2 power outages, blamed on lightning; downed wires on Orchard

August 14, 2015 at 2:37 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

2:37 PM: Two power outages are on the map in West Seattle since the lightning, thunder, and pouring rain moved in. Thanks to John for the tip on the bigger one, affecting 12 customers near 21st SW and Croft, north of Sanislo Elementary. The Seattle City Light outage map blames lightning for this outage and says it might take about three hours to fix. That’s also the cause listed for a one-customer outage just south of Solstice Park, estimated for a fix by 4 pm. (Remember the “restoration” times on SCL’s map are always guesstimates.)

3:11 PM: The Solstice Park outage is now up to nine customers (one home or business equals a “customer”).

3:33 PM P.S. Just across the Duwamish River, about 200 customers are affected by outages scattered along East Marginal Way, and traffic signals are out too, so be careful if you have to head that way (or ANY way, really, since the downpour continues).

5:40 PM: Thanks to the tipster who reported tree branches taking out wires along SW Orchard in the Home Depot vicinity. Another texter says the road is closed in that area, so we’re off to check the extent.

6:18 PM: Above is what we found – it’s actually east of the Home Depot intersection.

West Seattle power outage: South Seattle College closing early for transformer repairs

August 11, 2015 at 3:47 pm | In Puget Ridge, Utilities, West Seattle news | No Comments

(ADDED: SSC photo of City Light crew member on campus)

Just out of the WSB inbox:

South Seattle College’s West Seattle Campus will close today, August 11, at 4 p.m. due to a power outage. All classes for this evening have been cancelled.

The Georgetown and New Holly South Seattle College campuses, however, will remainopen on their regular schedule.

Shortly before 11:30 a.m. today, a transformer blew on the West Seattle campus’ north parking lot causing a brief power outage. A loud “boom” that was caused by the transformer was heard at the north end of the parking lot. No injuries were reported.

To fix the transformer, Seattle City Light will need tp shut down all power on the West Seattle Campus to make the necessary repairs. Regularly scheduled hours for the West Seattle Campus are expected to resume tomorrow, August 12.

UPDATE: Use less water immediately, city requests, citing ‘potential … supply shortage’; plus – Seattle Parks conservation plans

August 11, 2015 at 11:42 am | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 82 Comments

ORIGINAL 11:42 AM REPORT: The city’s asking you to use less water – in hopes of holding off mandatory restrictions. Here’s the announcement made this morning, in conjunction with two of the region’s other major cities:

After unusually hot weather, the region’s all-time driest May-July and in preparation of a potentially drier-than-normal fall, Everett, Seattle and Tacoma have moved to the second stage of their water shortage response plans — voluntary reduction.

The voluntary stage has been enacted because the potential for a water supply shortage continues to increase.

The three cities are working together to manage water supplies for people and fish during the drought and higher-than-normal water use. They are asking customers for their help by voluntarily reducing their water use by 10 percent starting today.

Click to read the rest of UPDATE: Use less water immediately, city requests, citing ‘potential … supply shortage’; plus – Seattle Parks conservation plans…

Reader report: Reason for discolored water in Arbor Heights, and what to do if it happens in your area

August 9, 2015 at 1:58 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

Thanks to the texter who wanted to share what they’ve found out about brown water at their home near 40th SW and SW 106th in Arbor Heights: Seattle Fire’s been out testing hydrants, according to what a Seattle Public Utilities rep told the resident when they called to ask. Also: “They said the problem will resolve itself in three to eight hours. They said, don’t attempt to flush your own pipes for a few hours, as that will make the problem worse.” Every so often, someone asks us about a situation like this, and if they haven’t already checked with SPU, we point them to this excellent link that explains possible causes and what to/what not to do – worth saving in case this happens in your area.

West Seattle power-outage update: 116 homes/businesses

July 31, 2015 at 8:11 am | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

8:11 AM: Thanks to the texter who just pointed this out: Seattle City Light‘s outage map shows 121 homes/businesses without power right now in the Seacrest Park vicinity and along Harbor Avenue for a stretch eastward. They’re hoping to have it back by 10:30 am or so, but as always, that’s just a guesstimate. We’re headed that way to check on effects.

8:39 AM: While the outage map shows Seacrest, we checked at Marination – no problem there. Still checking elsewhere. No cause listed yet; we’ve seen at least one City Light crew in the area:

9:01 AM: Moondrop Coffee and Tea across from Seacrest has a note on its door saying it’s closed because of the outage. The City Light map now says “bird/animal” as the cause (and commenter Wes C. Addle backs that up), with an 11:45 am guesstimate for restoration, and a slight downgrade of affected customers to 116.

11:48 AM: The City Light map shows this outage is over.

FOLLOWUP: City hearing examiner upholds decision approving cell antennas on Alki apartment building

July 30, 2015 at 5:04 am | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 15 Comments

The decision is in for a citizens-vs.-city case we reported here in May, the appeal of a Department of Planning and Development decision allowing 12 new Verizon antennas on the roof of an Alki apartment building. As reported here in May, a group of neighbors voicing health and aesthetic concerns banded together as “Stop Alki Cell Towers” and challenged the approval, also launching a publicity campaign that included a protest.

Last week, they argued their case before city Hearing Examiner Sue Tanner in a daylong hearing downtown (you can read the minutes and listen to audio of the hearing by going into the case file on the city website). Tanner published her decision yesterday (Wednesday, July 29th).

She noted that “Stop Alki Cell Towers” withdrew all but one issue at the appeal hearing, the issue alleging that the project would break city rules by being “substantially detrimental” to the “residential character” of the neighborhood and that was not the “least intrusive” potential location. In her ruling, Tanner went over the reasons why Verizon wound up with this building and also said the group presented no evidence proving the claim that the antennas would be “detrimental,” so she upheld the city’s decision approving the installation. Read her decision in its entirety here. If the group wants to continue its challenge, it will have to take the city to court.

Emergency repair work this weekend at Murray CSO Control Project

July 17, 2015 at 6:31 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news | Comments Off

The biggest piece of equipment at the site of the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Control Project across from Lowman Beach needs emergency repairs, according to King County, so they’re going to work on it this weekend. That’s explained in the alert notice you can see above (or here, if you can’t see the Scribd embed). It means the site will be “busier and noisier” than it usually is on weekends, with work starting at 9 am tomorrow. The project involves a million-gallon storage tank that’ll reduce combined-sewer overflows into Puget Sound and is scheduled to be finished next year.

UPDATE: Cellular equipment work planned on utility poles in West Seattle neighborhoods

July 9, 2015 at 4:06 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 11 Comments

4:06 PM THURSDAY: Just in from the city:

Seattle City Light will be supporting enhanced cellular and data services in various Seattle neighborhoods by upgrading electronic equipment on 49 existing network sites on utility poles. …

Highlights from the flier:

· The project is an expansion of existing communications networks and the equipment modifications will increase public safety and enhanced-911 capabilities. The work will also improve wireless services to areas, allowing for enhanced connectivity and faster 4G service. See the maps on the fliers for approximate construction work areas.

· Construction will begin during the week of July 13, 2015 and will last approximately seven weeks. Daily work hours are planned from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

· During this project, City Light crews will also have the opportunity to upgrade its infrastructure and replace poles that are in poor condition.

· There are no maintenance power outages planned.

· Some traffic and parking impacts are expected in the immediate work areas. Crews will be careful to try and maintain access to driveways.

From separate notification flyers you can see in this 20-page PDF – interspersed with other parts of the city (we’ll try to separate out the West Seattle flyers later if we get time) – here are the three groups of areas where City Light says crews will be working in West Seattle:

 16th Ave SW near SW Brandon St
 16th Ave SW near SW Morgan St
 SW Holden St near 12th Ave SW
 9th Ave SW near SW Cloverdale St
 8th Ave SW between SW Barton St and SW Cambridge St
 The intersection of 4th & 6th Ave S at Myers Way S

 Fauntleroy Pl SW near SW Cloverdale St
 SW Barton St near SW Henderson St
 45th Ave SW near Kilbourne Ct SW
 Marine View Dr SW near SW 101st St
 Marine View Dr SW near SW 104th St

 55th Ave SW near SW Andover St
 48th Ave SW near SW Genesee St
 SW Snoqualmie St near 57th Ave SW
 SW Edmunds St near 48th Ave SW
 SW Hudson St near SW Jacobsen Rd
 46th Ave SW near SW Findlay St
 Atlas Place SW near Beach Dr SW

We’ve sent some followup questions to City Light and will add any additional information we get.

ADDED FRIDAY: We asked City Light a few followup questions. SCL’s Scott Thomsen replied, “These 49 locations have existing cellular antennas on them. The project will replace those existing antennas, which are about 10 years old, with new, upgraded equipment. In most instances, this will not add any height to the pole. A few that are located on streetlights will add 4 feet of height. In each of those cases, the provider must get a conditional use permit from the Department of Planning and Development. The antennas on utility poles are being mounted on the sides of the poles. The old antennas stick out about a foot from the pole. The new ones stick out about 4 inches.”

Less rain, more use leads city to downgrade ‘water-supply outlook’

July 8, 2015 at 3:44 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 14 Comments

(ADDED: WSB photo, dried-out slopes beneath Myrtle Reservoir water towers)
Please use water “wisely,” the city is imploring you, as it downgrades the official “water-supply outlook” because of high temperatures, low rainfall, and increased water use. It’s **not** calling for restrictions, yet, but Seattle Public Utilities is making some water-management changes – read on:

Click to read the rest of Less rain, more use leads city to downgrade ‘water-supply outlook’…

West Seattle power outages: 2 small ones right now

July 2, 2015 at 9:05 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news | Comments Off

9:05 PM: Seattle City Light is working on two small outages in West Seattle right now – a texter tipped us to the one affecting nine households in the 11th/12th/Cambridge/Roxbury vicinity; no cause yet, but our tipster says they heard a loud noise just before the power went out on their block. Looking at the SCL outage map, we also note one in the 20th/Kenyon area, affecting three customers, blamed on “bird/animal.”

12:34 PM: Just checked the map – both outages are over.

Murray CSO Control Project entering next phase: Pipe replacement under Beach Drive

June 30, 2015 at 6:30 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | Comments Off

Another update from King County, whose reps warn that Lowman Beach access is going to get even tougher in the weeks ahead:

King County contractors for the Murray CSO Control project will begin replacing an eight-inch water pipe in Beach Drive SW this week. The work requires excavators, trucks, and a crane to work in Beach Drive SW for about a month.

The work will create traffic congestion and delays, especially south of the Lincoln Park Way SW intersection on Beach Dr. SW. Flaggers will guide traffic around the work site. Emergency and local access on Beach Dr. SW will be maintained. All parking will be closed along Beach Drive SW south of Lincoln Park Way SW. Steel plates will cover the work area in the road outside of work hours. The road will be patched after the pipe is installed and fully restored at the end of the project.

Installing the new pipe will not affect water service to neighbors. Connecting the new pipe will require a service outage later this summer for Beach Drive SW residents south of the Lincoln Park Way intersection. More information will be provided before that work occurs.

Crews will continue building the underground storage tank while the water pipe installation occurs.

Thank you for your ongoing patience during construction. Please direct any concerns or inquiries to the project hotline: 206-205-9186.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Murray CSO project moves out into the streets

June 12, 2015 at 9:08 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 2 Comments

That’s an official alert that you should read if you are likely to travel through or near Lowman Beach, the north end of Lincoln Park, or 48th SW/Lincoln Park Way/Beach Drive SW in that area any time in the next few weeks. It’s about the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Project‘s next phase, starting Monday, which includes work in the streets as well as work on the million-gallon tank across the street from Lowman Beach Park. Please note that the alert includes words of warning for bicycle riders and bus riders, as well as drivers.

Use Seattle City Light’s eBilling system? ‘Technical error’ alert

May 31, 2015 at 2:38 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 15 Comments

Sent this afternoon by Seattle City Light:

On Thursday, May 28, Seattle City Light discovered that certain customers who were billed on May 27 accidentally received incorrect billing statements through the eBilling online payment service. No Social Security number, bank account, credit card, or debit card information was involved, and this will not result in any disruption of service to customers. Any payments customers made were applied to the correct accounts.

The problem was caused by an internal, technical error. We are investigating and working with a team of specialists to determine what happened. We will provide an update when further information is available.

Until this technical error has been resolved, the eBilling system has been taken offline. However, customers may still make an online payment through the “one-time payment” system on our website, which has not been affected. Our call center staff will be available to answer questions on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., and during normal operating hours Monday through Friday.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this might cause our customers. We appreciate our customers’ patience as we work to resolve this issue.

We asked SCL spokesperson Scott Thomsen how many people were affected; he says they don’t know yet, but “It was limited to some customers within the May 27 billing run” – (added) an average daily billing run could have 30,000 customers – and if they determine your bill was involved, you should get e-mail (updated) OR postal mail from City Light – depending on what kind of contact info they have for you.

West Seattle road work: SW Orchard lane closure continuing

May 24, 2015 at 12:17 pm | In Delridge, Utilities, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

Looking ahead to next week, and a few weeks beyond: Seattle Public UtilitiesEmily Reardon sent word going into the holiday weekend that its work at Delridge/Orchard isn’t over yet:

Quick update re. SPU’s ongoing sewer improvement project near Delridge Way SW and SW Orchard St. The daytime single lane restriction on SW Orchard Street (east of Delridge Way SW) will remain in place off-and-on through mid-June as crews complete sidewalk work and paving. The lane will remain closed Monday through Saturday, 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., and will be opened to traffic during non-work hours. During the closure, all westbound traffic will be diverted to the eastbound lane with the assistance of a traffic flagger.

The project page for this site, upgrading the combined-sewer-overflow-reducing facilities, ” target=”_blank”>is here.

Drought declaration statewide; city says Seattle water supply OK

May 15, 2015 at 1:52 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 11 Comments

(State-provided map, obtained via Flickr. Pink counties [all of WA] = drought)
You might be wondering how Governor Inslee‘s statewide drought declaration will affect you. Not much in terms of routine water use, according to the city. Here’s what Seattle Public Utilities is saying:

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) said today there are no plans at this time to raise drinking water rates in the event conservation efforts, prompted by a statewide drought, cause a decline in Utility revenues.

Earlier this year, Seattle City Council adopted a two-year plan that holds water rate increases to 1.7 percent for 2016 and 2.7 percent for 2017. SPU Director Ray Hoffman said that unless there is a gigantic drop in water usage, that rate plan will not change.

“Unlike much of the rest of the state, Seattle has been able to hold lots of water in our mountain reservoirs, and we have told our customers they can expect a normal water summer,” Hoffman said.

“As always, we are asking people to use water wisely, but even if our revenues decline dramatically as a result of conservation efforts, the rates adopted for the next two years are protected by a $28 million contingency fund designed to bring predictability and stability to water bills,” Hoffman said.

Seattleites already use less water than most cities in the country. In the unlikely event of a large decline in water usage, SPU’s first action would be to tap into its rate stabilization fund. Beyond that, options for meeting that long-term fixed revenue requirement could include canceling capital improvement projects or raising rates.

Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean you should just use water with abandon. Here are some easy ways to use less.

FOLLOWUP: Date changes, comment responses for Delridge/Orchard CSO project

April 26, 2015 at 8:39 pm | In Delridge, Utilities | 2 Comments

New information for traffic effects related to the ongoing Delridge/Orchard Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) 2 facility project. Seattle Public Utilities says the SW Myrtle daytime westbound lane closure at 24th SW announced for this week have moved up a day and will be happening on Tuesday/Wednesday (April 28-29) instead. (Flow-monitoring equipment is being installed.) SPU spokesperson Emily Reardon also had answers for two topics that came up in comments on the previous report – first, resulting road changes:

this project narrowed the roadway to two standard-width east-west lanes on SW Orchard, and extended the curb bulb at Orchard and Dumar. These changes allow for new sidewalks and ADA curb ramps along Orchard. The intersection of Delridge Way SW and SW Orchard St. remains largely unchanged. Crews have not yet completed the lanes or added roadway striping. This new roadway configuration is an SDOT-approved design.

The project overview flyer mentions that work.

Another commenter had wondered about an odd color in Longfellow Creek and whether it was related to the CSO work. From Reardon: “I checked with our construction crew and confirmed that no sediment from this project has been released into Longfellow Creek. Sometimes, different colors in creeks in the area can be naturally occurring, but they can also be a sign of a problem upstream … If residents are concerned about something they’re seeing in the creek, they are encouraged to call SPU’s 24-hour emergency line at: 206-386-1800.”

Seattle Public Utilities project updates: Delridge/Orchard, 22nd/Henderson

April 23, 2015 at 11:51 am | In Delridge, Utilities, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

Updates today from Seattle Public Utilities on two sewer/drainage projects under way along Delridge. First, the project at Delridge/Orchard:

The daytime westbound lane restriction on SW Orchard St. just east of Delridge Way SW will continue through mid-May as crews complete demolition, paving and landscaping work. Over the next couple of weeks, crews are also working on SW Myrtle at 24th Avenue SW, where they are installing a flow monitoring cabinet in the right-of-way. On Wednesday, April 29 and Thursday, April 30, between 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., the westbound lane on SW Myrtle St. at 24th Ave. SW will be closed to traffic. During the closure, all westbound traffic will be diverted to the eastbound lane with the assistance of a traffic flagger.

Work also continues at CSO 3, located at SW Henderson St. and 22nd Ave. SW. (map) Crews recently completed the underground diversion structure at SW Barton Place and SW Barton St. and are currently working on the CSO 3 facility.

Crews are on schedule to reach substantial completion of both projects in the fall of this year.

Questions/concerns about either project? SPU’s Emily Reardon also tells WSB they’ll be at the next Westwood/Roxhill/Arbor Heights Neighborhood Council meeting for a briefing (May 5, 6:15 pm, Southwest Branch Library).

Faster way to get the power back? Seattle City Light testing one

April 11, 2015 at 8:53 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

While West Seattle was spared power outages during this afternoon’s blustery weather (areas north and west of downtown got hit instead), we often aren’t so lucky. And this brings to mind new outage-response technology that Seattle City Light announced earlier this week. While WS isn’t part of the first round of testing, it might not be far behind if the pilot project works out. Ahead, the SCL news release, and what we found out on followup:

Click to read the rest of Faster way to get the power back? Seattle City Light testing one…

How much will your water bill go up? Here’s what Seattle Public Utilities is proposing

April 10, 2015 at 12:49 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news | 23 Comments

That’s the slide deck the Seattle City Council‘s Public Utilities and Neighborhoods Committee will see during its meeting at 2 pm next Tuesday (April 14th), as it begins reviewing a water-rate increase proposed by Seattle Public Utilities, which just sent this preview:

In keeping with a strategic business plan approved by City Council last year, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is proposing drinking water rate increases of 1.7 percent for 2016 and 2.7 percent for 2017. The business plan aims at capping average rates for all SPU services — drinking water, sewer, drainage, garbage and recycling — to an annual average of 4.6 percent through the year 2020.

A drainage and wastewater rate proposal will be considered by Council later this year. That proposal also is expected to fit within the 4.6 percent average annual rate cap.

Click to read the rest of How much will your water bill go up? Here’s what Seattle Public Utilities is proposing…

What’s up down in the pit? Murray CSO project update

April 4, 2015 at 6:56 pm | In Environment, Utilities, West Seattle news | Comments Off

A little over one year into major work at the site of the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Control Project‘s million-gallon storage tank, another phase has begun, according to a notice from King County: The outer wall and floor of the tank are done, and crews are now building its inner walls. That’s what you see in the photo above, which we took this afternoon through the fence along Lincoln Park Way over the northeast side of the site. The inner-wall work will mean “small concrete pours every week” through June, says the county, and possibly some Saturday work. Then this summer, according to the update, “the contractor expects to begin work to connect to the tank to the existing sewer system. This work will affect traffic on Beach Drive SW. King County will provide more information to the community before work begins.”

The Morgan Community Association has had Murray project updates at its quarterly meetings for quite a while now, so you’ll probably see one on the agenda for the April 15th MoCA meeting (7 pm, The Kenney), in case you have questions, which you can also take to the 24-hour project hotline – 206-205-9186. The project is supposed to be finished by fall of next year.

Barton Pump Station Upgrade traffic alert for tomorrow; project ‘very close to being done’

March 25, 2015 at 5:07 pm | In Fauntleroy, Utilities, West Seattle news | Comments Off

(WSB photo, taken today)
With another traffic advisory from King County Wastewater Treatment Division related to the Barton Pump Station Upgrade Project next to the Fauntleroy ferry dock, we asked for an overall update. First – the traffic advisory:

The northern ferry lane entrance and toll booth will be closed for up to two hours starting at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow morning, March 26. The closure is necessary to allow Seattle City Light crews to remove the temporary electrical system that has served the Barton Pump Station during construction. This work is part of construction wrap up for the Barton Pump Station Upgrade. Flaggers will be on hand to keep ferry and Fauntleroy traffic moving. Please call the project hotline with any questions or concerns: 206-296-2999.

Now the overall update: County spokesperson Annie Kolb-Nelson tells WSB that “the project is very close to being done. The art work is scheduled to come in in April, and landscaping and restoration is ongoing through spring. WTD is working with Friends of Cove Park to plan a June celebration for the public. We’ll offer pump station tours, and Friends of Cove Park will host a celebratory re-opening of the beach.” Cove Park closed in June 2012, as the construction got under way.

Myrtle Reservoir retrofitting going out to bid, likely to start in fall

March 22, 2015 at 8:23 pm | In Gatewood, Utilities, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

(West side of Myrtle Reservoir site, where work is likely to be staged)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Nine months after Seattle Public Utilities discussed the earthquake-resistance retrofit needed for West Seattle Reservoir in Highland Park, we know what’s in store for our area’s other underground water facility, Myrtle Reservoir.

Myrtle was covered in 2008, West Seattle in 2010. Then in 2012, their designer, MWH, told the city about “possible seismic deficiencies” in their work – not potentially catastrophic, but not something that could be ignored, either. Analysis and testing ensued, and in June of last year, we reported on the retrofit/strengthening plan for WS Reservoir, interviewing reps from SPU and its consultants.

At the time, they didn’t know exactly what would need to be done to Myrtle Reservoir, a relatively small reservoir (5 million gallons) at the city’s highest point on the east side of the Gatewood neighborhood. Now they do.

Click to read the rest of Myrtle Reservoir retrofitting going out to bid, likely to start in fall…

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