VIDEO: Brown water in West Seattle Junction area

10:54 AM: The video is from Heather, one of several people who have messaged us this morning with word of brown water in the West Seattle Junction area. As noted here before, it’s important to report brown water to Seattle Public Utilities at 206-386-1800 – Heather’s family did and reports that SPU says it’s because of fire-hydrant testing in the area. Here’s the general SPU advice about what to do if your water is discolored; you might recall SPU’s West Seattle flushing operations last year, an effort to get rust out of the pipes before it’s stirred up by hydrant use or pipe breaks.

12:28 PM: Despite the initial report blaming hydrant testing, it now seems there’s a water break – both Eddie via e-mail (including the photo below) and TTT via comments are reporting it.

We have a call out to SPU.

1:14 PM: Just talked to SPU’s Andy Ryan. He says they’re still working to figure out exactly where the break is – so far they think it’s possibly an 8-inch water line, and they’ve “throttled” water in the area so that what’s coming up at 48th/Alaska should be down to a trickle. In addition to the people reporting discolored water, he says six customers in the area are without service right now.

21 Replies to "VIDEO: Brown water in West Seattle Junction area"

  • redblack December 23, 2017 (12:10 pm)

    i wonder if this has anything to do with the fire on 38th ave SW last night, just south of fire station 32. SFD opened 1 or 2 hydrants for the first time in years (as far as i know.)

  • ttt December 23, 2017 (12:25 pm)

    There is a water main break under the intersection of Alaska & 48th. I was there when SPU was shutting the valve (they said not all the way), and they slso said they had to do the same on 46th on alaska since they couldn’t get themsin going west on 47th to close any.

    It is theintersection next to ercolini park. Sounds like they will be back later to tear up the road panels.

    • WSB December 23, 2017 (12:27 pm)

      I just heard about this from somebody else – thank you – and have a call out to SPD’s on-call media person.

      • Pam December 23, 2017 (6:47 pm)

        We are one of the six without water. Called it in this morning and were told it was a fire hydrant and to wait 2 hours. Checked back in later when water stopped running altogether and they said it was a water main break. Most recently, around 6pm, we were told to expect water in the morning at the earliest and that they are sending out a second crew. Hopefully they get this fixed for our sake but especially for those having to work overnight and into the holiday.

        • WSB December 23, 2017 (7:11 pm)

          Thank you for the update! Hope they are able to fix it sooner rather than later.

  • kg December 23, 2017 (12:51 pm)

    Some in our house drank the water and is feeling lousy. We’re waiting for a call from the water quality team. 

    • DL December 23, 2017 (8:06 pm)

      Any news on the water quality?

  • Joel December 23, 2017 (4:44 pm)

    we had an 8 inch break on our street…a neighbor called it in and SPU said it was a hydrant – 3 hours later and thousands of gallons of water later a landslide due to the water main break…they seem to be quick to say it’s a fire hydrant when it’s actually a water main.

  • Tim December 23, 2017 (6:30 pm)

    SPU are still in the intersection of SW Alaska and 48th Ave SW. Working on the main break. No fun in the cold.

  • DL December 23, 2017 (8:05 pm)

    I feel for the workers and the people without water. They are still working at 8pm… We are hearing lots of drilling and Jack hammers. The workers are  working hard. 

  • Kenneth December 24, 2017 (7:23 am)

    It’s 720 in the morning and the water is still off. We have a house full of family and the toilet situation is getting untenable. Heheh. Any word on the progress? 

  • Clint Olson December 24, 2017 (8:32 am)

    8:30 and our water is back on, albeit brownish….

  • Mark47n December 24, 2017 (8:44 am)

    I know there are those out there who seem to believe that these problems can be fixed in a few hours but they cannot. These are complex and labor intensive solutions in challenging conditions. Please cut these workers a break, they’ll be working as hard as they can. They don’t want to be there any more than you want them there (because of the water main break). 

    If you feel they could be working harder I suggest you give it a try.

    • Question Authority December 24, 2017 (9:04 am)

      Exactly!  Things to consider before digging are the locations of other utilities / power, gas, sewer, drainage, communications etc.  Then, soil conditions and need for shoring to prevent trench collapse fatalities.  Then, manpower ÷ Holiday weekend shortage, tools, equipment, supplies and freezing weather conditions.  There’s always bottled water and a five gallon bucket, and all of the minor hardship is good practice for the enevatable earthquake which will be worse.  How many neighbours actually brought those crews any hot coffee or snacks?

  • ltfd December 24, 2017 (10:13 am)

    The Seattle Fire Department does NOT test fire hydrants during freezing weather. Nice blame game SPU.

    • chemist December 24, 2017 (12:05 pm)

      Yeah, that was my initial astonishment reading this too.   It would be nice to know when you’re getting a unique, informed response or a Baghdad Bob response when calling in a problem.

  • Kenneth December 24, 2017 (10:43 am)

    Hey Mark,  Please don’t read too much into my terse comment, I was typing on my phone and had several other things rolling at once (on hold with the SPU). Just wanted to get info out. Shoulda dropped in a smiley or 2. :)

       I called the SPU around 7 and they were not aware there where still houses without water ( workers were done 11 last night ). Good news, they know now. :)  Someone came out shortly after to investigate, but (understandably) couldn’t give an ETA.

    • Mark47n December 26, 2017 (6:16 pm)

      As someone who labors for a living  tend to be a bit sensitive. While I wasn’t reacting to what you said, necessarily, it was definitely preemptive. Often I read comments from others complaining about how long it take to accomplish “simple” things. Most of the time these tasks aren’t simple at all in execution.

  • Kenneth December 24, 2017 (11:28 am)

    Blam! Rescued! 30+ minutes of holiday macgyvering and we have running water. No fair trade for time with the family, but I made sure our holiday heroes got a bottle of franjelico on their way out. :) 

    • Question Authority December 24, 2017 (12:31 pm)

      Just pour economy bottled water in the toilet tank to provide flushing action, problem solved.

  • Pamela Phillips December 24, 2017 (1:17 pm)

    Our water was back on by 7am. We delivered hot cocoa and cookies to them last night a it was cold and late. Definitely hard work and not fun on a holiday. Glad to have clean dishes, laundry, and a shower thanks to them working late!

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