More brown-water reports: What we’ve found out


Seattle Public Utilities says an average day could bring dozens of brown-water reports from around the city, for a variety of reasons. Again today, we’ve heard about a few, and here’s what we’ve found out. One report came from 44th SW between Charlestown and Andover, and in the area, we found the crew above, which told us they were doing sewer-pipe work. However, SPU’s Andy Ryan tells us that sewer work and water discoloration are NOT linked – the more likely cause is “a scheduled shutdown early this morning in the area, along California Avenue from SW Dakota to SW Charlestown. Anytime there is a shutdown, people in the area can experience brown water —even if they were not in the scheduled shutdown area.” Once again, if you have water trouble, SPU wants to hear from you – 206-386-1800. There’s also an SPU webpage with some general advice about dealing with water discoloration – find it here.

3 Replies to "More brown-water reports: What we've found out"

  • Fiz March 4, 2016 (7:52 pm)

    We’ve  experienced cloudy or yellow water many times over the last several months, the last time a couple of nights ago.  We’ve lived within a couple of blocks of both sides of the Junction for seventy years  and find this to be a new experience.

    When I called we were told that it is due to “construction”, safe to drink, and would clear.  

    It’s getting old.   And our rates keep going up. 

  • Christian March 5, 2016 (9:43 am)

    They say it’s safe— it’s gross. Maybe “they” should come drink a couple of glasses. Would that be “safe” like the gross water in Michigan was?? Who gets the receipts to reimburse us for bottled water and laundry so I could get my white clothes washed and still have white clothes? 

  • Tim March 6, 2016 (12:33 am)

    Listen, the city keeps feeding us one line of BS after another. First they told us the discoloration was due to testing a fire hydrant. Then when the West Seattle Blog decided to follow up, the city said that it was due to a vactor truck filling its tanks up with water. Then it’s sewage pipe work, and now it’s a water main shutdown  (I think)?

    My dad started municipal waste company back in the early 1980s in Phoenix, Arizona. The equipment they used? Vactor trucks. I could tell you in great detail how these trucks work, what kind of waste they were authorized to carry, how many crews worked on each truck, and how often they would fill up at fire hydrants. They filled up at hydrants all the time, they needed water to do their jobs. Not once did my dad’s company ever receive a complaint or a citation from the city for creating discolored water. I used to go to his office all the time, I was very familiar with the operations and the discussions around the dinner table. I never once heard of any kind of citations issued to the company for non-compliance or violations of city code.

    When those trucks fill up, water is leaving the system, they are not injecting anything back into the system so that kind of explanation about discoloration of water and sediment being loosened up is complete BS.

    The pipes that the city uses are under constant high pressure with water constantly flowing through them. If there is sediment in them, it’s already been discharged. The only questions you should be asking is what the city hasn’t told you. 

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