BROWN WATER: Reports from Admiral, Delridge

10:32 PM: Suddenly in the past half-hour or so, we’re getting reports of brown water in at least two areas of West Seattle, North Admiral and North Delridge. No, it’s NOT the “West Seattle flush” we first told you about last week – that’s not supposed to get going before mid-month. If you’re seeing brown water, tonight or any other time, please call Seattle Public Utilities‘ 24-hour hotline, 206-386-1800. (So far, one North Delridge resident said she was told it’s a hydrant flush; the North Admiral situation seems to be a mystery. But please call if you’re seeing it – that’ll help them sleuth.)

TUESDAY, 9:20 AM: We’re still hearing from people experiencing this; we’re checking with SPU but that’s no substitute for you calling them directly if it’s happening at your house and you haven’t called already. From our recent visits to and reports about SPU’s system, we can tell you the “sediment” to which they refer is basically rust from the old cast-iron water mains that constitute much of the system in this area (among others), not unhealthy but certainly unappetizing, and the upcoming flushing operations are aimed at getting some of it out of the system so that changes in routine such as hydrant operations or leaks/breaks don’t have as much of it to stir up.

17 Replies to "BROWN WATER: Reports from Admiral, Delridge"

  • Brian R. April 4, 2016 (11:10 pm)

    In North Admiral, I saw them flushing a fire hydrant at 48th Ave SW and SW Waite around 8pm.

    • WSB April 4, 2016 (11:15 pm)

      Thanks, could be it.

  • West Seattle Curious April 5, 2016 (12:08 am)

    Why are they flushing a hydrant?  And at this time in the evening?

  • West Seattle Curious April 5, 2016 (12:12 am)

    I’m sure there is a very good reason for “flushing a hydrant” at this time in the evening. Would be nice for neighborhood to know the explanation. 

  • kelsie bliss April 5, 2016 (12:56 am)

    I just called in and they said it should be clear within 4 -6 hours. They reported that “Over 20 people have called and if it’s not clear by morning to call back, and it’s safe to drink.” Gross. 

  • MJ April 5, 2016 (7:15 am)

    Still quite brown in the Walker / 47th area even after running the water for 20 plus minutes.  I did call to report again, no call back from the water inspector yet.

  • Bestbets April 5, 2016 (7:20 am)

    We live relatively close to previously mentioned hydrant, I’m curious why they flushed it out at night as well. We definitely had a a spate  of brown water last night (yes gross) but looks like it’s okay this morning.

  • MJ April 5, 2016 (7:45 am)

    The water dept. returned my call, supposedly it will be another 3 plus hours (maybe by 11am) before it will clear up, at least so they said for my area, but for now it is still quite brown.  It was not clear to me what happened this morning that would cause this to continue…

  • Gina April 5, 2016 (8:09 am)

    Still brown water in Lafayette school area, tastes okay for drinking.

  • H stephens April 5, 2016 (8:16 am)

    We live at 47th and admiral and have been seeing tea colored water since last night. Just got off the phone with public utilities and they say it should clear by today. They say it was caused by a flow test they were doing. They are doing this to see if it will be able to support all of the new housing going up  in the admiral  area. 

    They say to try to not use your water as the more people put demand on the system the more it stirs it up and doesn’t allow the sediment to settle to the bottom  

  • Deo April 5, 2016 (9:21 am)

    Better information available here than through my two calls to Seattle Public Utilities!  Brown water continues on the 1900 block of  47th Ave SW …will delay use for now.  Would be appreciated if SPU gave us a heads up on work…no reason things like this couldn’t be posted on their website. 

  • Diane April 5, 2016 (9:28 am)

    so sick of this happening, without warning; any time of day/night of brown water for hours without notice is obnoxious; stop it

  • Deo April 5, 2016 (9:41 am)

    Update; just had call back from tech who said this could take 3-8 hours to settle out.  Confirmed best to use water as little as possible to allow sediment to settle along the line.  (By the way, central office folks gave the exact opposite info: run your cold water in the tub for about 5 minutes….)

    running any water stirs up the sediment in the lines .

    Avoid hot water use so sediments aren’t drawn into your water heater., or other equipment..

  • Gina April 5, 2016 (2:17 pm)

    SPU Vactor truck was working on California between Palm and Ferry this afternoon. Might be some more shake up.


  • LS April 5, 2016 (7:11 pm)

    We are on 48th and waite st all of our townhome units still see brown as well. It was been like that since last night.

  • Twicksea April 9, 2016 (2:12 pm)

    Brown water today in Gatewood Hill/Morgan Junction area.  I’ve called to report it. She said I’m not the first but they’re still claiming it might be caused by fire hydrant use.  Seems a bit widespread for that? Meanwhile it’s brown enough that I’m concerned about washing clothes in it–which she agreed is likely a bad idea.  Makes the idea of drinking and showering in it not too appealing either!

  • Twicksea April 9, 2016 (2:30 pm)

    SPU tech just called back within 30 mins (gotta give credit for a quick response) and as mentioned a couple times above, if your neighborhood is experiencing this, they say the best thing you can do is NOT use your water.  If we try to “flush” the system, it stirs up more sediment. 

Sorry, comment time is over.