FLUSH UPDATE: Night 3 tonight as Seattle Public Utilities works to clear WS water

(WSB photo from Sunday, California/Spokane)

We checked in today with Seattle Public Utilities, whose crews are getting ready for Night 3 of a months-long process to flush rust/sediment out of the West Seattle water system, to reduce the recurring brown-water problems that have hit various parts of our area since last fall.

So far, SPU’s Ingrid Goodwin tells WSB, “The crews are still working out the flushing process and have been making some field adjustments to achieve the results we need. So far they have completed four flushes (2 Sunday and 2 Monday). We were hoping to complete 3 to 4 flushes per night, but we’ve run into some problems with operating some of the older valves.”

Tonight, she says they’re expected to be at three locations: 44th/Lander, 45th/Stevens, and, for some “pre-flushing” work, 44th/Spokane. Remember that – as was apparently the case Sunday night – the flushing itself can lead to temporarily discolored water as that water heads out of the system; if at any time you have a problem that persists, notify SPU at 206-386-1800.

BACKSTORY: The plan to flush West Seattle’s pipes this spring/summer was announced three weeks ago. Then on April 8th, SPU shared the map of the first area to be flushed, along with other details. On Sunday, just as the flushing was about to start, we took a closer look at the water-system workings, in part a followup to our March 22nd report on how SPU monitors and tests local drinking water – for “flavor” as well as safety.

8 Replies to "FLUSH UPDATE: Night 3 tonight as Seattle Public Utilities works to clear WS water"

  • chemist April 19, 2016 (5:14 pm)

    I went searching for info about “unidirectional flushing” when WSB first used the term and it sounds like other localities have conditions where this is routine but often uncovers these sort of issues that need to be resolved (forgotten closed valves, inoperable valves that need replaced) and can have benefits including updating the system maps and restoring pipe capacity (some of the rust build-up pictures are downright scary to imagine drinking from).


  • Dawsonst April 20, 2016 (7:19 pm)

    Still waiting for my water to turn to whine.

  • Ab April 20, 2016 (9:51 pm)

    This is what our water looks like when we turn off our home filter system.  It’s been this way for the better part of three years now with very little help from our utility.  Lots of talk little action spent the first year convincing them that this was a problem.  It took councilman Rassmusan getting involved to get any progress.  As soon as he left office all progress stopped.  It should not take getting an elected official involved to get good customer service from a city agency.

    Time to call Lisa Herbold I suppose because we need help asap.

  • Ab April 20, 2016 (9:56 pm)

    And this is what our neighbors water looks like 

    • WSB April 20, 2016 (10:05 pm)

      Hi, Ab, what area are you in? And what has Seattle Public Utilities told you about the reason for long-running brown water? Have the pipes in your residence been checked? If you don’t feel comfortable answering here, please e-mail us at editor@westseattleblog.com. We are continuing to follow up on the water situation – in fact, we’re about to head out to where they’re flushing tonight, for an up-close observation opportunity – and I could certainly ask about what’s happening in your area. – TR

  • Ab April 21, 2016 (12:51 pm)

    We are the 9800 block of 46 ave SW. Just below marine view.  We’ve had our pipes checked and have copper throughout after they spent months telling us that we must have galvanized pipe from the street to the house.  We’ve had 3-4 years of emails back and forth and have had several levels of people stop responding to my requests.  Only after involving Councilman Rassmusan did we get them to even admit that the water was bad.  Now that Rassmusan is out it seems stalled again.  As to what is causing it I was told that the supervisory staff does not see this as being a priority because it only seems to effect a few homes with ours being the most effected because it’s at the end of the line.

  • Alex Clardy April 21, 2016 (1:45 pm)

    Hello Ab, I am a staff member with Councilmember Herbold. Please feel free to contact me directly about this. My email address is alex.clardy@seattle.gov.

  • Ab April 21, 2016 (6:06 pm)

    I will

    thank you 

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