West Seattle Blog... » Utilities http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:58:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 Get ready to recycle more: Seattle to require food-waste composting http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/get-ready-to-recycle-more-seattle-to-require-food-waste-composting/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/get-ready-to-recycle-more-seattle-to-require-food-waste-composting/#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 01:16:02 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=286576 Don’t look at it as a ban on throwing away your food scraps, suggested City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw before this afternoon’s vote – look at it as expanded recycling. And with that, she and the rest of the City Council voted to require recycling of food scraps and compostable paper, starting next year. The enforcement teeth won’t be very sharp – $1 fines, and only after a “massive” informational campaign – but the city believes this is what’s needed to jolt the “stalled” shrinkage of Seattleites’ recycling rate. (Also, as noted on the city website, “Food waste is one third of the residential garbage in Seattle … and is transported by train 300 miles to an Oregon landfill.”) Details of how it would be enforced are in this slide deck from a briefing earlier this month.

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Power outage along Roxbury, repairs under way http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/power-outage-along-roxbury/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/power-outage-along-roxbury/#comments Sat, 13 Sep 2014 01:32:36 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=285470

6:32 PM: More than 50 homes/businesses in pockets along Roxbury, between 35th and 20th, are without power, but Seattle City Light crews tell us it shouldn’t last much longer. It’s affecting signals, though, including 30th/Roxbury, so be careful and treat any nonworking signal intersection as a four-way stop. The cause is listed as “equipment failure,” apparently in a vault.

7 PM: The map suggests the easternmost pockets have been restored.

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Earthquake-resistance retrofit work about to start at West Seattle Reservoir in Highland Park http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/earthquake-resistance-retrofit-about-to-start-at-west-seattle-reservoir/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/earthquake-resistance-retrofit-about-to-start-at-west-seattle-reservoir/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 16:40:40 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=285256 Three months after we first reported on seismic-safety retrofit work needed inside some city reservoirs, it’s about to start at West Seattle Reservoir in Highland Park. Neighbors will receive, if they haven’t already, notices from Seattle Public Utilities, which tells WSB that work will start by the end of September and run through March. Here’s the notice:

(If you can’t see the embedded version, here’s the PDF version.) SPU says project signs will go up in the park before work begins. Our June story, linked in the first sentence of this one, details the full backstory, including the expectation that work will be needed at West Seattle’s other underground reservoir, Myrtle, and will probably start there before the end of next year.

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One more meeting tonight: Seola Pond drainage walk-and-talk http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/one-more-meeting-tonight-seola-pond-walk-and-talk/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/one-more-meeting-tonight-seola-pond-walk-and-talk/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 21:53:15 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=285050

(2010 WSB photo)
In addition to the meetings and events highlighted earlier in our West Seattle Tuesday preview, we just got word of this from Mike (thank you!) – relating to the area in the photo above, from WSB storm coverage in December 2010:

Learn about drainage in your neighborhood.

Tuesday, Sept. 9th at 6 PM
Meet at corner of 30th Ave SW and SW 104th, on west side of Seola Pond.

Seattle Public Utilities has made commitments to improve drainage in the Arbor Heights area near Seola Pond.

Debbie Harris is project manager: debbie.harris@seattle.gov

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Will the city require food-waste recycling? Council committee hearing this afternoon http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/will-the-city-require-food-waste-composting-council-committee-hearing-today/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/will-the-city-require-food-waste-composting-council-committee-hearing-today/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 16:18:11 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=285018

The City Council is considering a change to the recycling rules – instead of just enabling food-waste recycling, they’re looking at requiring it. The next discussion of this proposal is on the agenda for the Public Utilities and Neighborhoods Committee meeting this afternoon at City Hall at 2 pm (here’s the agenda). The slide-deck presentation accompanying the agenda item (see it here or above) says the city will take too long to get to its recycling goal of 60 percent of all waste, without a requirement like this, because food waste and compostable (but not otherwise recyclable) paper are “the largest component of readily divertible material” in what both residences and businesses throw away. If the proposal is finalized by the council, the new rules would start next year, with warnings at first, and then in July, a residential violation would cost you $1, a dumpster violation $50 after 2 warnings.

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Got gas (service)? Puget Sound Energy’s sending smell-mail http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/got-gas-service-puget-sound-energys-sending-smell-mail/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/got-gas-service-puget-sound-energys-sending-smell-mail/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 20:28:25 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=284482

That quick video clip’s all about something Puget Sound Energy is sending out to more than a million customers via postal mail (in this case, e-mail just wouldn’t work), as explained in this announcement:

Billing statements from Puget Sound Energy arriving in mailboxes over the coming weeks might smell a little rotten.

A newly designed natural gas safety brochure is being sent out to more than 1.1 million PSE customers throughout September. In addition to lots of important information about what to do if there’s a suspected gas leak, there’s a scratch-and-sniff section that’s a reminder of the rotten egg odor associated with natural gas.

To help detect gas leaks more easily, PSE and other natural gas utilities add an odorant called mercaptan to the natural gas, which is naturally odorless and colorless. Everyone in a family needs to recognize the stench, and know what to do if they smell it:

* If a natural gas odor is detected inside or outside a house or building, or if a leak is suspected, everyone should get out immediately.

* Do not switch any lights or appliances on or off.

* Do not use cell or landline phones inside the structure or near the smell.

* Do not use anything that might create a spark or has a flame, such a lighting a match or a cigarette.

* When far away from the area, call 911, or PSE’s 24-hour emergency hotline at 1-888-225-5773. PSE’s natural gas technicians will respond immediately from our service centers at no charge to check out a problem.

* A hissing sound, blowing dirt or bubbles in a puddle may also indicate a possible natural gas leak.

In addition to delivering a “rotten egg smell,” the pamphlet also reminds customers to call 811 to have underground utility lines located before having any work done to prevent injuries and damage.

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Update: Crash blamed for power outage south of West Seattle; SPD says they had tried to pull over car after ‘narcotics sale’ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/another-west-seattle-power-outage/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/another-west-seattle-power-outage/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 03:54:28 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=282463 (UPDATED THURSDAY MORNING with crash update from SPD, which investigated)

(Added photo, by Nate: Top center, sideways power pole caught in wires)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 8:54 PM: Getting outage reports from some of the areas hit early this morning. Checking with City Light. We’ve heard from Shorewood so far – if you’re elsewhere and without power, please let us know, since the utility’s official mapping tends to lag.

9:07 PM: Checking out a report that this might be related to a crash on 116th SW in White Center.

(Added photo, by Andrew Kliphardt)
9:31 PM: We’re at the crash scene now, on 116th SW in White Center, near 10th.

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
King County Sheriff’s deputies have several blocks of 116th shut down. While City Light’s map isn’t updating, its customer hotline is apparently saying 4,200 customers are out of power – about the same as this morning’s outage (which was caused by a “failed insulator”). If you have to drive through this area, note that lights are out on part of the 16th SW/Ambaum arterial – 16th/107th is on but then power is out again south of there – treat any nonfunctioning signal as a four-way stop.

9:52 PM: City Light’s map now shows the full outage – we’re adding a screengrab above. At the crash scene, we learned that two people were hurt and taken to Harborview. With a pole and wires taken out, it was too dangerous to get close.

(Photo courtesy Tim Clemans)
10:06 PM: City Light says via Twitter that crews are routing power around the crash scene and that “most should be back on within the hour.”

10:10 PM: … or sooner; one text just came in from someone who has it back, and commenters are reporting they do too.

11:15 PM: Still about 1,200 out of power, mostly in White Center, according to the SCL map.

11:29 PM: Seattle Police are involved in the investigation; we don’t have official information yet on why. The Traffic Collision Investigation Squad is on scene. Commenters say the crashed car flipped in the back yard of a home – Andrew Kliphardt sent this photo:

2:11 AM: Still 1200+ without power.

(Added photo, by Andrew Kliphardt)
9:24 AM: The rest of the area got its power back overnight. Meantime, KCSO confirmed that Seattle Police investigated the crash. Here’s what SPD spokesperson Drew Fowler tells WSB:

SPD narcotics and ACT officers were conducting an operation just south of Seattle when they attempted to stop a vehicle involved in a narcotics sale. The vehicle refused to stop and left at a high rate of speed. Consistent with policy, our officers terminated and did not pursue. However, the suspect vehicle continued at a high rate of speed and collided with a power pole causing the loss of power to numerous homes in the White Center/Burien area. SPD’s TCIS investigated the incident and the two suspects were taken to HMC with non-life threatening injuries.

ACT = Anti-Crime Team; TCIS = Traffic Collision Investigation Squad.

9:57 AM: We also asked SCL about the coinciding patterns between the outage caused by this crash and the one about 20 hours earlier. Spokesperson Scott Thomsen: “Unfortunately, the power lines attached to that pole are the same feeder line that was affected by the insulator failure the day before.”

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Power outage from south Arbor Heights into White Center & beyond: Equipment failure http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/power-out-from-south-arbor-heights-into-white-center-and-beyond/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/power-out-from-south-arbor-heights-into-white-center-and-beyond/#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2014 07:40:09 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=282363

(Screengrab from Seattle City Light map)
12:40 AM: First reports of a power outage came from 25th/107th area, shortly after major rain started to fall – and now the Seattle City Light outage map shows more than 4,200 homes/businesses are out of power, from the south end of West Seattle south and southeastward. So far, no cause listed – just that SCL is “investigating” – but the start came around the time a downpour began, and at least one tipster reports big lightning accompanied it.

1:26 AM: City Light says it’s restored power to about a third of the homes/businesses affected, but that still leaves about 2,600 without electricity.

1:57 AM: Down to fewer than 1,000.

6 AM: Still almost 600 customers out, in the South Park area per the SCL map.

3:09 PM UPDATE: Everybody was back as of earlier today. City Light’s Scott Thomsen tells WSB a “failed insulator” caused it.

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West Seattle power outage: Crow vs. transformer again http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/west-seattle-power-outage-crow-vs-transformer-again/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/west-seattle-power-outage-crow-vs-transformer-again/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 17:11:03 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=280473 City Light says 10 homes are still out of power northeast of The Junction as part of an earlier outage that at one point was reported to be up to 90. According to a photo texted to us, this was another case of crow vs. transformer, with the bird making deadly contact at 38th/Dakota. The current estimate for repair completion is around 12:30 pm.

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Another traffic heads-up: Underground work ahead on Spokane @ Beach Dr. http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/another-traffic-heads-up-underground-work-ahead-on-spokane-beach-dr/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/another-traffic-heads-up-underground-work-ahead-on-spokane-beach-dr/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 16:54:52 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=280470 Though King County says the timeline’s not set yet, it’s circulating an alert about work that will dig up a section of road south of Alki Point soon. The alert begins:

Beginning later this month, a contractor working for King County will be making repairs to the County’s Alki Regulator Gate. This below-ground structure is located in Southwest Spokane St., near the corner of Beach Dr. Southwest. (see attached map). This facility is part of the County’s regional wastewater system; it helps to regulate wastewater flows going to the County’s West Seattle tunnel and pump station. These repairs are important to help avoid wastewater overflows into Puget Sound during times of high wastewater flows in the system.

See the full alert here (PDF, including a map). It says the work will last up to two weeks, with traffic-flagging for the duration, and that other projects are ahead, including improvements to the pump station in the area and installation of a “flow meter” near Spokane/62nd.

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Update: Comcast West Seattle outage blamed on ‘fiber cut’ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/no-comcast-company-says-west-seattle-outage-fixed-soon/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/no-comcast-company-says-west-seattle-outage-fixed-soon/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:13:19 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=280297 9:13 AM: Thanks to Steve for the tip about a Comcast outage in Admiral. According to a tweet from @ComcastWA, it’s because of a “fiber cut” and should be fixed within an hour or so … let us know if that window passes and you’re still out.

9:43 AM UPDATE: Steve says the service is back up.

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Scam alert: Another variation of the utility-bill phone calls http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/scam-alert-another-variation-of-the-utility-bill-phone-calls/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/scam-alert-another-variation-of-the-utility-bill-phone-calls/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 03:15:05 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=279427 At least for this area, it’s a new spin on the recurring telephone scam in which someone calls a business and claims its electricity is about to be cut off unless it makes a payment right now. Over the weekend, Donna Burns from Giannoni’s Pizzeria in Westwood Village – which had received the power-bill-scam call at least twice – reported a caller, claiming to be with Puget Sound Energy, making demands: “After I received the ‘we’re turning off your gas in 30 minutes if you don’t pay $500′ call, I immediately called PSE myself (their emergency number) and confirmed that it was in fact, a fraudulent call.” She was due to follow up with the Seattle Police fraud unit today. Bottom line is that if anyone calls you – business or personal line – claiming you need to make a payment now or face disconnection, DON’T DO IT – even if you are worried you might have bonafide bill trouble, hang up and contact the utility directly yourself to find out your status. (Searching the Web before publishing this, we see reports of this in some other parts of PSE’s service territory, but it doesn’t seem to have been as widely reported in Seattle as the electric-bill scam.)

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Extra work Saturday at sewer-overflow project by Lowman Beach http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/extra-work-saturday-at-sewer-overflow-project-by-lowman-beach/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/extra-work-saturday-at-sewer-overflow-project-by-lowman-beach/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 18:18:14 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=278649

(Project site aerial photo by Long B. Nguyen)
Work is scheduled this Saturday (July 12th) at the sewer-overflow-control project across from Lowman Beach, where King County is building a million-gallon underground storage tank to reduce overflows from the nearby Murray Pump Station. The county sent special notice of this today since it’s outside the bounds of the usual work; the notice says the work will be done between 9 am and 5 pm Saturday, and: “Nearly all the work will be completed with hand tools. No drilling, pumping or other construction activities will occur. Some materials may be moved around the site with a forklift.”

The notice described the work as “repairs” so we followed up to ask what was broken; project spokesperson Doug Marsano replied that it is “general maintenance work on the drill equipment used to install the outer ring of the tank. Some of the project’s support equipment may also be maintained in order to prevent breakdowns. Doing the maintenance on Saturday when the equipment isn’t being used helps keep the project on schedule.” And so far, he said, it is “going well and is on schedule.” That schedule calls for completion in 2016.

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Reader report: Another bird-caused West Seattle power outage http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/reader-report-another-bird-caused-west-seattle-power-outage/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/reader-report-another-bird-caused-west-seattle-power-outage/#comments Sun, 06 Jul 2014 04:32:36 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=278490 From Jon:

Power was out in the Seaview Addition from roughly 6 pm – 7:30 pm, on July 5th. A crow hit a transformer, and was killed. Immediately, a couple dozen crows set up in the heavily wooded lot across the alley, and made a raucus cawing dirge. There were several crows still cawing when City Light showed up an hour later. They indicated they were familiar with this crow behavior. They soon had the power restored, with a bird shield over the transformer. Only a few homes were affected by the outage.

This is the third outage of this type in the past week or so.

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Update: 2nd small power outage this week west of The Junction http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/second-small-power-outage-this-week-west-of-the-junction/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/second-small-power-outage-this-week-west-of-the-junction/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 17:17:08 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=278164 Charissa e-mailed with word of a power outage in the 48th/Edmunds area that she says started when a “transformer blew” around 9:30 am. The City Light site says 11 households are affected and they’re hoping to have the power back within a few hours. It’s notable because this is at least the second time this week that area’s had a small (double-digit or fewer customers) outage. The cause is listed, however, as still officially being “investigated.”

10:44 AM: Charissa says the power’s back on: “It was a crow pecking at a live wire attached to the transformer. Seattle City Light guy said happens all the time. they electrocute themselves. very sad. City Light puts a piece of plastic down to help prevent it from happening again.” So often, that’s what the small outages turn out to be.

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