(WSB photo: Myrtle Reservoir, where the work’s happening underground)
After multiple reports of yellow, or otherwise discolored, water in different areas of West Seattle in recent days – we heard from people as far north as Admiral and as far south as Gatewood – we contacted Seattle Public Utilities this morning to find out what’s going on. Here’s what we’ve heard back from spokesperson Andy Ryan:
We are working to clear up discolored drinking water that has been reported in several sections of West Seattle over the past few days.
The cause of the discoloration is believed to be sediment that was stirred up due to a temporary change in water-system configuration.
Although the water is temporarily discolored, it is safe to drink. The discoloration is expected to clear up gradually over the next few days.
The utility will provide updates if anything changes.
Elaborating on the “configuration,” Ryan explains it’s because of the earthquake-resistance retrofitting (most recently mentioned here) that started earlier this month at Myrtle Reservoir, which is temporarily out of service because of the work, so they’ve rerouted water through a part of the system that they don’t often use.
Otherwise, discolored water turns up here and there every so often, for various reasons – usually we get a few reports from one area, so we point people to this SPU page with information about dealing with it (and the utility’s customer-service hotline if the problem persists – 206-684-3000), and that’s the end of it.