Seattle Public Utilities won’t be out in Arbor Heights tonight flushing water mains after all. Its testing of a new flushing technology – previewed here a week ago – ended early. We checked in today with SPU’s Ingrid Goodwin, who told us:
We’re all done flushing utilizing the new method. We flushed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and intended to flush today and tomorrow, but we ran through all of the machine’s filters, so we had to stop.
The first two days we were able to flush two miles of pipe and remove a lot of sediment that had built up in the water mains. The water mains that we flushed were installed in the late 1940s.
We will begin analyzing the pilot results next week. But it appears it was a successful outcome and we avoided sending thousands of gallons of water down the storm drain.
While the flushing was under way earlier this week in the Genesee/Charlestown Hill area, we heard from one resident who reported a prolonged bout of brown water. Goodwin says, “We did receive calls from about a dozen customers who experienced temporary discolored water due to the flushing. Our crews performed some additional spot flushing to help clear the discoloration.” That’s been a risk of conventional flushing too, which has been under way off and on for several months now as SPU works to clear sediment (basically, rust) from the lines.