Utilities 675 results

UPDATE: Early-morning power outage peaks at 2,000+ customers in Puget Ridge, Highland Park, Riverview, South Park, more

4:37 AM: Thanks for the texts – power is out for what Seattle City Light‘s outage map says are 2,000+ homes/businesses from Highland Park southward. More to come.

4:49 AM: Also parts of Puget Ridge, Riverview, South Park, White Center – we’ve added a screengrab from the outage map. No word yet on the cause. The SCL map has a restoration-time estimate of 11 am but as we always remind you during power outages, that is just a guess, could be much earlier, could be much later. And please remember if you are driving before the power’s back on – any signalized intersection where the signal’s out or flashing means it’s an all-ways stop.

5:34 AM: Getting texts (thank you!) saying power’s back on. Waiting to see via the map if it’s back for everyone.

5:38 AM: Map has updated. Down to 500+ customers, in White Center (mostly Greenbridge vicinity):

6:07 AM: And it’s halved to 240 customers, north Greenbridge. “Equipment failure” is now listed as the cause.

8:44 AM: SCL says the equipment that failed is a switch, and it’s being replaced. They hope to have everybody back up and running by 1 pm.

FOLLOWUP: Pipe repairs start Sunday at stuck-truck sinkhole


(WSB photo from Monday afternoon)

Another followup on the 24th SW/SW Kenyon sinkhole that got a Waste Management truck stuck for a while back on Monday afternoon: More about the cause, and the repairs, from Seattle Public Utilities spokesperson Rachel Ramey:

SPU located a damaged 15-inch drainage pipe under the street that was clogged with debris and tree roots. Crew members cleaned the downstream pipe to remove debris. Repair crews will be onsite Sunday 7:30 am to 8 pm and Monday 7:30-5 pm for repairs. SPU expects to complete pipe repairs and a temporary patch on the roadway by mid-week, next week. SDOT permanent street repair will follow.

We had already reported Tuesday that a stormwater pipe was to blame, but this adds information about the size and scope of that problem.

FOLLOWUP: Stuck-truck sinkhole blamed on stormwater-pipe break


(WSB photos: Above, this afternoon; below, Monday afternoon)

Seattle Public Utilities was back today at the 24th SW/SW Kenyon intersection where a Waste Management truck got stuck (as first reported here Monday afternoon, thanks to a reader tip, and updated until the truck was taken away three-plus hours later).

SPU spokesperson Marieke Rake tells WSB that they found a damaged stormwater pipe beneath the street, and that’s what they believe caused the sinkhole (their term, “void”). She added that an SPU maintenance team is cleaning the downstream pipe to remove debris,” and within a few days they’ll “have an estimated pipe-repair timeframe.”

UPDATE: West Seattle power outage near The Triangle

10:36 AM: Thanks to the texter who mentioned an explosion-type noise near 36th and Andover – SFD went to look for a possible transformer fire in the area. We don’t know if they’ve found anything yet but we do know the Seattle City Light map now shows an 81-customer (one home/business = customer) outage in the area.

10:52 AM: The SFD call has closed out. SCL does have the cause classified as “equipment failure,” and its restoration guesstimate is 2 pm – could be sooner, could be later.

11:52 AM: The restoration estimate has now been pushed back to 2:48 pm. The photos above and below are courtesy of an area resident (thank you!) who says SCL has been focusing on the cross-arm where a “high voltage insulator broke away.”

2:34 PM: The outage has expanded by 40 customers since our last look at the map in the past hour or so. Guesstimate for restoration is now pushed back to 6-ish pm.

2:45 PM: We’ve also heard via the scanner that the traffic lights are now out at 35th/Fauntleroy, 35th/Avalon, Fauntleroy/Avalon. Remember – a broken signal = all-way stop!

3:55 PM: Thanks for the updates in the comment section – looks like the power’s back on for all but seven customers (screengrab above).

UPDATE: Brown water reported in Alki, hydrant testing blamed

ORIGINAL REPORT, 9:54 PM SUNDAY: Thanks to David for the report and photo – brown (discolored) water from his taps in the 3000 block of 62nd SW in Alki: “I called the City and they say it’s safe — supposedly testing hydrants in the neighborhood is causing rust in the water.” If you have brown water – tonight or any other time – be sure to report it to Seattle Public Utilities at this number – 206-386-1800. Sometimes it’s testing; sometimes it can be a sign of a water break or other problem, and that number will get you to someone around the clock. Last year, you’ll recall, SPU was flushing areas of the water system in West Seattle in hopes of clearing out some buildup; we haven’t had an update on that in a few months, so we’ll check on its status after the holiday.

TUESDAY FOLLOWUP: From SPU spokesperson Ingrid Goodwin: “SPU crews were conducting fire flow tests Sunday night, which caused some customers to experience temporary discolored water. These tests require crews to run water from a hydrant to test the volume coming out of the pipe to ensure there is adequate fire flow protection. Most of these tests are conducted at night to minimize the impact to customers. SPU received 5 calls from customers about discolored water (3 Sunday night and 2 Monday morning). Our on-duty water quality inspector spoke directly to those customers who had questions or concerns about the discolored water.”

We also asked if any further flushing operations were happening; Goodwin said no: “At this time, SPU is not conducting water main flushing in West Seattle. However, we continue to monitor water quality issues in West Seattle to determine if, when and where flushing might be beneficial.”

FOLLOWUP: Water monitoring south of Alki after pump-station overflow


(WSB photo)

That sign was up this afternoon near the 63rd Avenue Pump Station south of Alki Point, following the 330,000-gallon combined-sewer overflow reported late last night by King County Wastewater Treatment. The overflow happened during Thursday afternoon’s less-than-one-hour power outage in western West Seattle, before a portable generator could be brought to and fired up at the pump station.

We followed up today with county spokesperson Doug Williams. For one, as commenter Schwaggy asked, why isn’t there already a generator at the pump station? He says there soon will be:

We are wrapping up a construction project at the 63rd Avenue Pump Station that, when finished, will include a new emergency power generator at the facility. While that construction project is underway, we have an emergency generator loaded on a trailer and stationed at the Alki CSO facility. Yesterday when our workers got the 63rd Ave pump station overflow alarm they went to the Alki facility and picked up the emergency generator for the short drive over to the pump station (about ¼ mile, I believe). However, power was restored before the emergency power was brought online.

As for how long the signs will stay up, Williams didn’t have information on water-quality-test results yet when we checked in, but he said the signs will not be taken down until results are “below thresholds for human contact.”

POLLUTION ALERT: 330,000-gallon Alki overflow during power outage

Just got word from the King County Wastewater Treatment District that this afternoon’s power outage caused a ~330,000-gallon overflow from the 63rd Avenue Pump Station in South Alki. The pump station usually sends stormwater and wastewater flows to the Alki Combined Sewer Overflow facility at Alki Point. That facility has an emergency generator on site, and the county says crews brought that generator to the pump station, but it wasn’t needed for long, since the outage lasted less than an hour.

… King County has reported the overflow to health and regulatory agencies. King County employees will post signs in the vicinity of the pump station at first light on Friday, Feb. 17, and employees with the County’s Environmental Lab conducted water quality monitoring.

The Alki facility itself had a quarter-million-gallon overflow just four weeks ago.

UPDATE: West Seattle power outage – 4,800+ homes and businesses, back on within an hour

4:21 PM: Thanks for all the texts – the Seattle City Light map confirms a big power outage in West Seattle, more than 4,800 homes/businesses. No word yet on the cause. More to come.

4:30 PM: Via Twitter, SCL says they “have reports of a downed pole,” though we haven’t heard where. Evan, via Twitter, reports having seen transformer trouble and sparks near High Point Pond Park. There was a short-lived SFD call near 29th/Findlay. Meantime, remember that non-working signals are all-way stops.

4:57 PM: New estimated restoration time – 5:50 pm. (Could be sooner, could be later.)

5:12 PM: Thanks for all the updates! Took the City Light map a few minutes to catch up but it confirms, outage is over.

MURRAY CSO PROJECT: Landscaping close to complete


(WSB photos from Sunday)

While on a walk from Lowman Beach into Lincoln Park on Sunday, we stopped for a few photos of the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Control Project, planning to check for an update this week. One arrived tonight, even before we could ask. The million-gallon tank at the heart of the facility has already functioned successfully, as the King County Wastewater Treatment Division told the Morgan Community Association last month, so now the project is down to the final loose ends:

King County’s contractor is nearly finished with landscaping on the County’s facility building site, including a green roof on the facility building and a rain garden north of the public staircase. Grading is also underway in Lowman Beach Park in preparation for landscaping installation.

When complete, the green roof on the facility building will absorb rainwater and improve the building’s energy efficiency. Excess water from the green roof and other parts of the facility will be directed to the rain garden, reducing runoff to nearby storm drains.

Schedule update

Landscaping and restoration activities on site are expected to be complete by the end of the month. Once restoration is complete, the project artist, Robert Horner, will install the remaining project art.

The contractor will wait to plant grass in Lowman Beach Park until the weather is warmer, likely during the month of March. Fencing will remain in place around the park until grass is established. The County anticipates the public staircase to be open to the public by early April.

To celebrate completion of the project, the County will host a ribbon cutting event and facility tours this spring. Keep an eye out for an invite in the mail!

The county also says it’s changing its hotline hours for the project “now that major construction is complete.” They’ll answer 9 am-5 pm Mondays-Fridays and will take messages the rest of the time, 206-205-9186. It’s now been three and a half years since major work began at the Murray CSO site, with demolition of the residential buildings that used to be there.

P.S. During heavy rain, check here to see if overflows are happening anywhere around the area.

OUTAGES: Electricity in southwest West Seattle; Comcast phone in wider area

Two outages to mention: First, thanks to Bianca for reporting a blown transformer near 35th SW/SW 112th – that’s likely what’s to blame for a 51-home outage toward the south end of 35th SW and part of the Seola Beach area.

Meantime, Comcast phone service is out for a multi-county area, including at least part of King County. We’ve heard from one business – Greentree Animal Hospital – that says you can reach them by e-mail in the meantime, greentreeanimalhospital@gmail.com – if anyone else has alternate contact info, we’d be happy to mention it.

TRASH/RECYCLING PICKUP UPDATE: Monday customers here will have to wait until next week

FIRST REPORT, 11:53 AM: New information just in from Seattle Public Utilities about their plan for the rest of this week.

The big change for our area: If you are a Monday pickup customer, you will **NOT** get pickup today after all – nobody “south of I-90” will – here’s what SPU says today:

Commercial garbage, recycling or food/yard waste pickup resumed today across Seattle.

Collections for residential customers partially resumed today on a revised schedule based on the solid waste contractors’ assessment of neighborhood road conditions:

· Monday residential customers, north of I-90 will be collected today (Tuesday).

· Monday residential customers, south of I-90: Due to continued icy conditions, there is no residential garbage, recycling or food/yard waste pickup in these areas again today. Customers should put out materials on their next regularly scheduled pickup day (next Monday), as described below.

· Tuesday residential customers will be collected tomorrow (Wednesday), weather and road conditions permitting.

· Wednesday, Thursday and Friday services will all be delayed one day this week.

For Monday residential customers south of I-90 or other customers not serviced this week due to icy roads, please put containers out on your next regularly scheduled pickup day. Customers missed this week will be allowed to set out double their normal amount of garbage, recycling and yard waste at no additional charge, on their next scheduled collection day. Please use extra bags or boxes for the additional materials. For service updates, please check seattle.gov/util. Follow SPU on Twitter.

(Photo credit: WSB files)

ADDED 4:43 PM: Commenters were wondering if this means they can put out the recycling again next Monday, or if they would have to wait another week until scheduled pickup for recycling. Marieke Rake of SPU replied to our inquiry:

For West Seattle residential customers with Monday pickup, please put out containers on your next regularly scheduled pickup day. This includes recycling even if next Monday isn’t your regular recycling day. Customers missed this week will be allowed to set out double their normal amount of garbage, recycling and yard waste at no additional charge, on their next scheduled collection day. Please use extra bags or boxes for the additional materials.

TRASH/RECYCLING DELAYED ALL WEEK: In case you missed this news

(TUESDAY UPDATE: Monday residential customers here will NOT get pickup this week after all)

ORIGINAL MONDAY ANNOUNCEMENT: In case you missed this in our snow updates earlier today, we’re publishing the full announcement separately, since this will affect people long after the snow has melted: Since Seattle Public Utilities couldn’t get trucks out this morning, trash/recycling/etc. pickup will be delayed one day ALL WEEK. Here’s the full announcement:

Due to icy road conditions, there will be no residential or commercial garbage, recycling or food/yard waste pickup in Seattle today—Monday. Contractors will attempt to serve priority commercial locations this afternoon.

Weather and road conditions permitting, garbage, recycling, and food/yard waste service will resume Tuesday, on a revised schedule — with customers scheduled for pickup today (Monday) collected Tuesday. All remaining residential services will be delayed one day this week.

If your materials are not picked up by the end of the following day, please put them out on your next regularly scheduled pickup day. Customers missed this week will be allowed to set out double their normal amount of garbage, recycling and yard waste at no additional charge, on their next scheduled collection day. For service updates, please check seattle.gov/util. Follow SPU on Twitter.

TUESDAY UPDATE: Published here.

Seattle Public Utilities’ future, and what you pay for their services: 2 ways to have a say

February 3, 2017 10:07 am
|    Comments Off on Seattle Public Utilities’ future, and what you pay for their services: 2 ways to have a say
 |   Utilities | West Seattle news

It’s the city department that handles water, trash, recycling, sewage, and drainage: Seattle Public Utilities is updating the road map to its future – the Strategic Business Plan.

SPU has two ways for you to let them know what you think. And as City Councilmember Lisa Herbold has mentioned repeatedly lately (the committee she chairs oversees SPU, among other things), it’s ultimately about the rates you pay. So consider weighing in on this.

The quickest way: Answer their online survey. It’s not just “yes/no” – it’s a bit educational, and a bit creative (at one point you’re asked how you want them to spend $100, if you had to split it between certain ways to do that). Several pages in, you will indeed be asked your thoughts about various rates and what SPU would be able to do and not do at certain levels. Go here to answer the survey.

You’re also invited to a meeting. It’s next Wednesday (February 8th), 6 pm, at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW). Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Spanish-speaking interpretation will be available.

Taller poles for wireless electricity metering: Next West Seattle site

The big orange dot on that Seattle City Light-provided map marks the next spot where the utility will be installing a taller pole to facilitate its future switch to automated, wireless metering. The announcement includes this information:

Seattle City Light continues to support Advanced Metering services throughout the utility’s service territory by replacing existing utility poles with taller poles, which will host wireless utility data collection equipment. The new poles will be 70 feet tall, which is about 20 feet taller than the existing poles. … Affected customers have received the same information …

In February 2017, crews will be replacing poles in the following areas:

· Lake City / North Seattle (NE 125th Street)
· South Lake Union (Pontius Avenue N)
· Othello Park (43rd Avenue S)
· West Seattle / Junction (SW Edmunds Street)

Project Highlights:

· This project is part of the communications network to support Advanced Metering, which will automate meter reading and enable enhanced services.

· There are no maintenance power outages planned for this work. Some traffic and parking impacts are expected in the immediate work areas. Crews will be careful to maintain access to driveways.

· Daily work hours are from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In most instances, the work to transfer existing equipment and install the data collection equipment can be completed in one day.

Three areas of West Seattle are getting the taller poles this month, as previewed here in December.

TRAFFIC ALERT: ‘Sinkhole’ on Beach Drive

IMG_1315

Thanks for the tip – what was already a bumpy-to-say-the-least stretch of road in the 4100 block of Beach Drive SW [map] is worse this afternoon, with what first responders were calling a “sinkhole,” possibly involving a water break. It’s on the southbound side of the street, and police are directing traffic around it. The Seattle Public Utilities crew that is there now checking it out says a larger crew is on the way to dig into it, so you’ll want to avoid this area for at least a few hours.

UPDATE: Slide, water break, road closure near Fauntleroy Park

IMG_8285

12:10 AM: A water break in north Arbor Heights has led to a slide that’s taken out part of a dead-end section of California SW north of SW Roxbury and forcing residents of one house to evacuate.

thebreak
(Broken pipe, exposed where part of road washed out)

A sizable Seattle Fire response is here and Seattle Public Utilities crews have arrived too. No report of injuries.

12:18 AM: Police are on scene too and as you can see, California SW is taped off – we are being kept back for safety. “West of Fauntleroy Park” is probably a better description of this area – here’s a map.

7:57 AM: We’re following up on multiple fronts now that it’s light – look for an update later.

ADDED 12:30 PM: We’re still awaiting information from SPU, and checking with other agencies too, including SDOT, since a road is involved. Meantime, some midday photos showing the scope:

slide1 (2)

slide2

crunchedcover

We’ll update with anything more we find out.

4:30 PM: SPU says it doesn’t know what caused the 2-inch water-line break. We just went back again to the slide zone and they have lots of heavy equipment at work. We’ve been talking to SDOT about the road and SDCI about the stability of the home(s) in the area – that’ll be in tonight’s story. As pointed out in comments, the slide is in an embankment on what would be the SW Cambridge street end, between 44th SW and California SW.

UPDATE: Water-main break in High Point

7:05 AM: Thanks to the texter who reported that water service is out for some High Point residents near 34th SW and SW Holly. They report Seattle Public Utilities says it’ll be out for a few hours.

12:45 PM: More info from SPU spokesperson Ingrid Goodwin: “SPU crews continue to work to repair a vertical break on an 8-inch water main on 34th Avenue SW. Water is anticipated to be back on for customers by 1:30 pm today and crews are expected to be done with the repair and off the street by 3 pm. Crews initially throttled the water main around 4:45 am, which caused some customers to be immediately out of water. About 68 water services are impacted.”

If you have brown water in east Arbor Heights …

January 11, 2017 9:19 pm
|    Comments Off on If you have brown water in east Arbor Heights …
 |   Arbor Heights | Utilities | West Seattle news

No, it’s not a water break. Your neighbor Joe Szilagyi already inquired with Seattle Public Utilities and shares what he found out:

We had SPU out in the mid block the past two days on 32nd between 97th and 100th cleaning sewers and they had to tap the fire hydrant heavily today to finish the job — all the water is very brown SPU told us approximately from 97th to 100th on 32nd, *maybe* adjacent blocks. It should be fine tomorrow morning sometime if no one uses the water, more usage slows the sediment settling. They said if it’s still brown tomorrow for people to call SPU.

The number to call would be the one we’ve published many times – the one Joe used, too – 206-386-1800.

UTILITY UPDATES: Water break; tree removal; streetlight switchovers

Three utility updates today:

ARBOR HEIGHTS WATER-MAIN BREAK: Late last night, a reader mentioned a water-main break at 35th/107th in Arbor Heights. The crew was already gone when we got a chance to go take a look. Seattle Public Utilities spokesperson Ingrid Goodwin tells WSB it was a four-inch water-main break around 8 pm and crews had it fixed within a few hours.

The next two involve bucket-truck work for Seattle City Light:

TREE REMOVAL: Alan sent this photo and wondered about tree-removal work visible in the right-of-way near SW Holly and 14th SW:

20170103_122205

SCL’s Scott Thomsen tells WSB:

When the trees in this area were last trimmed four years ago, the contractor doing the work did not follow best practices. This compromised the health of some trees with rot and multiple new starts. We stopped using that contractor.

In this cycle of trimming, we are resolving some of the problems that were created. Some of the trees that were damaged are indeed being removed based on their deteriorated condition.

STREETLIGHT SWITCHOVER: As mentioned here toward summer’s end, SCL is continuing to switch arterial streetlights to LEDs. Last night in The Junction, Paul Weatherman took these photos of crews working on SW Alaska just east of California SW:

img_6796-jpg

The arterial work follows the completion of the switchover on residential streets. Here’s the wider view from last night:

img_6794-jpg

SCL told us in August that the arterial conversions should be completed this year.

3 West Seattle neighborhoods getting taller utility poles next month for City Light’s ‘advanced metering’

As Seattle City Light continues getting ready for “advanced metering” (explained here), it’s installing taller utility poles in some neighborhoods. The work plan for next month has just been announced, including three West Seattle areas:

wsdelridgemap

wshpt

wsnorthadmiral

From the City Light announcement we received:

Seattle City Light is continuing to support Advanced Metering services throughout the utility’s service territory by replacing existing utility poles with taller poles, which will host wireless utility data collection equipment. The new poles will be 70 feet tall, which is about 20 feet taller than the existing poles.

(Maps of the construction work areas)

From the fliers [that will be distributed to neighbors]:

· This project is part of the communications network to support Advanced Metering, which will automate meter reading and enable enhanced services.

· There are no maintenance power outages planned for this work. Some traffic and parking impacts are expected in the immediate work areas. Crews will be careful to maintain access to driveways.

· Daily work hours are from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In most instances, the work to transfer existing equipment and install the data collection equipment can be completed in one day.

If you have questions about the pole installation and/or “advanced metering,” City Light says you can contact JoAnna Perley, Advanced Metering Deployment Manager, 206-733-9648 or joanna.perley@seattle.gov.

WEST SEATTLE POWER OUTAGE: West Marginal/Highland Park Way

December 27, 2016 9:13 pm
|    Comments Off on WEST SEATTLE POWER OUTAGE: West Marginal/Highland Park Way
 |   Highland Park | Utilities | West Seattle news

Thanks to Kathleen for the tip – a power outage at the bottom of the Highland Park Way hill is affecting the West Marginal Way/Highland Park Way intersection. She says City Light and Seattle Police are there. The SCL outage map shows only nine “customers” out, on the south side of the intersection, but in that area, one customer can represent a sizable business facility. The map attributes the outage to “equipment failure.”

About that Arbor Heights water break

December 19, 2016 9:57 pm
|    Comments Off on About that Arbor Heights water break
 |   Arbor Heights | Utilities | West Seattle news

From the “just in case you were wondering” file: After hearing about a water problem in south Arbor Heights late today, we checked with Seattle Public Utilities. Spokesperson Andy Ryan tells WSB,”We had a 4-inch water main break this afternoon (in the 10800 block of) 37th Ave. SW. Water was back on at 5:15.” Just a reminder – if you have a water problem, the SPU number to call to report it is 206-386-1800. (And then let us know! Unlike electricity outages, water outages don’t have an online map.)

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