UPDATE: Brown water reported in Alki, hydrant testing blamed

ORIGINAL REPORT, 9:54 PM SUNDAY: Thanks to David for the report and photo – brown (discolored) water from his taps in the 3000 block of 62nd SW in Alki: “I called the City and they say it’s safe — supposedly testing hydrants in the neighborhood is causing rust in the water.” If you have brown water – tonight or any other time – be sure to report it to Seattle Public Utilities at this number – 206-386-1800. Sometimes it’s testing; sometimes it can be a sign of a water break or other problem, and that number will get you to someone around the clock. Last year, you’ll recall, SPU was flushing areas of the water system in West Seattle in hopes of clearing out some buildup; we haven’t had an update on that in a few months, so we’ll check on its status after the holiday.

TUESDAY FOLLOWUP: From SPU spokesperson Ingrid Goodwin: “SPU crews were conducting fire flow tests Sunday night, which caused some customers to experience temporary discolored water. These tests require crews to run water from a hydrant to test the volume coming out of the pipe to ensure there is adequate fire flow protection. Most of these tests are conducted at night to minimize the impact to customers. SPU received 5 calls from customers about discolored water (3 Sunday night and 2 Monday morning). Our on-duty water quality inspector spoke directly to those customers who had questions or concerns about the discolored water.”

We also asked if any further flushing operations were happening; Goodwin said no: “At this time, SPU is not conducting water main flushing in West Seattle. However, we continue to monitor water quality issues in West Seattle to determine if, when and where flushing might be beneficial.”

4 Replies to "UPDATE: Brown water reported in Alki, hydrant testing blamed"

  • AlkiResident13 February 20, 2017 (5:08 am)

    Sure would have been nice to know that this was happening from SPU. (Was there a notice that I missed?) I was brushing my teeth last night and ended up with a mouthful of very dark brown water. I also live in the same area noted above. 

  • newnative February 20, 2017 (8:13 am)


  • wetone February 20, 2017 (9:33 am)

         “supposedly testing hydrants in the neighborhood is causing rust in the water.”         

      Testing on a weekend really, my bet is another broken line or new lines being hooked up. Old pipe system and lots ground movement from all the rain doesn’t help either.

  • Chuck February 20, 2017 (3:50 pm)

    Close your eyes and pretend it’s an unfiltered hefeweizen? Add a lemon wedge? 

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