BROWN WATER: What to do if it happens to you

With everyone at home, more people might notice things such as discolored tap water. It happened to Jenny west of The Junction today, and she sent the photo. If it happens to you, here’s what to do:

Call Seattle Public Utilities at 206-386-1800.

They should be able to tell you whether it’s the result of a water-main break, or – as in Jenny’s situation – nearby hydrant testing. The latter often stirs up sediment (basically, rust) in the system, and that leads to tbe discoloration. After you’ve reported it, here’s what else to do.

This was so much of a problem a few years back that SPU did a major flush in West Seattle over the span of months in 2016 – read about it here. It’s important to let SPU know if you see it, because without so many reports back in 2016, they wouldn’t have done the flush.

3 Replies to "BROWN WATER: What to do if it happens to you"

  • Joe March 27, 2020 (9:17 am)

    Is it safe to drink?

  • WS Neighbor March 27, 2020 (1:31 pm)

    Our residential city water supply sends dark orange solid material into our Arbor Heights house.  This orange solid immediately fills up each new filter we replace into our whole house filter system, which is installed where the city water enters our home.  But the city report we got after they picked up the full orange filter states that the water is ok to drink, no explanation as to the source or any action they can take.  Very frustrating.  We encourage others to call the city when their water is discolored, especially if they see it in their filters, as we have for the past year.  City of Seattle Operations Response Center (206) 386-1800

  • Azimuth March 27, 2020 (4:12 pm)

    Saw it west of Junction on the 27th about 4PM. Called Utilities and they said there is hydrant testing but if we wanted someone would come out but I declined.

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