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Late-night brown water in Gatewood

A Gatewood resident reports “completely brown water coming out of our tap” as of late tonight. No emergencies (or planned work) on the Seattle Public Utilities map. But if you’re in that area, check yours, especially before doing any laundry; if you have discolored water, there or elsewhere, always report it to SPU at 206-386-1800. 24/7.

POWER OUTAGE: 11,000+ lose electricity from southeast West Seattle south into South Park, White Center, Burien (updated Monday)

2:52 PM: Thanks for the tip. While Seattle City Light continued working on the Brace Point outage (as updated here), they’ve suddenly got a huge outage to deal with – mostly from South Park south into White Center and Burien, but part of southeast West Seattle – at the end of the Roxbury corridor – is affected too. Remember that intersections with nonfunctioning traffic signals become all-ways stop.

4:13 PM: Now down to just under 5,000. The north areas, including the West Seattle pocket and White Center, are among those restored. No word yet on the cause.

5:09 PM: Under 3,000 still out.

8:33 PM: Down to under 500, mostly in the Boulevard Park area. The exact cause hasn’t been disclosed yet – “equipment” problem of some kind, SCL says.

12:29 PM MONDAY: We followed up today with SCL spokesperson Jenn Strang, who says, “The exact cause of (this) outage in still under investigation but there is a possibility that it was caused by a bird. The resulting fault caused two lines to wrap together, resulting in the larger impact of the outage.”

UPDATE: Brace Point power outage (cause added Monday)

9:45 PM: Thanks for the tips. Power’s out for 329 homes in the Brace Point area, according to the Seattle City Light outage map, as of less than half an hour ago. The outage is attributed to “equipment failure”; the area has had multiple outages blamed on underground trouble over the years.

10:51 PM: As noted in a comment below, SCL says the outage is now affecting 169 homes.

2:29 AM: They’re still out.

10:26 AM: This morning 8 customers remain without electricity. We’ll be following up with SCL tomorrow about this outage and the long-planned project to address the area’s chronic problems.

2:27 PM: The outage is back to the original 329 customers, as pointed out below by commenter BP1, who says the SCL crew explained they had to do that for final repairs, which they hope to complete within the next two hours.

5:29 PM: BP1 noted below that the 329 number persisted on the map past when their power was restored; the outage has now entirely vanished from the map, so everyone should be reconnected.

ADDED MONDAY: We asked SCL’s Jenn Strang about the cause: “Due to a failed transformer. The first outage was caused by a fuse but when the area was restored the failed transformer was also found. The subsequent outage was required so that crews could safely access the area to replace the transformer.” We’ll have a separate update when we get the information about the upgrade project’s status.

UPDATE: Gas-line break in Sunrise Heights

2:40 PM: Seattle Fire units have arrived in the 7100 block of 29th SW after a report of a broken half-inch gas line. They’re planning to evacuate two houses while awaiting Puget Sound Energy‘s arrival.

2:44 PM: Police just told dispatch they’re blocking southbound traffic at 29th/Myrtle [map].

2:54 PM: Firefighters have just reported that the “gas line has been secured.”

UPDATE: Brown water southeast of The Junction and in Gatewood

9:36 AM: Via text: “Brown water this morning on 41st SW between Hudson and Dawson.” This is the third report we’ve received this week; though we didn’t get the chance to publish it at the time, a reader notified us about “super brown water” near Gatewood Elementary on Wednesday, and we did publish this report from southeast Admiral on Monday. A leading cause is fire-hydrant testing, but it can also be a clue to system trouble like a pipe break, so always report it to Seattle Public Utilities at 206-386-1800.

4:14 PM: Also just heard from Tricia, reporting: “I have brown water in Gatewood. Southern and California.”

UPDATE: Gas-line break in Brace Point

9:41 AM: Seattle Fire has several units near 50th and 97th in Brace Point [map] after an excavator ruptured a gas line. They’re awaiting Puget Sound Energy to help handle it.

9:48 AM: Responders told dispatch they’ve cleared the affected buildings, but PSE isn’t expected for another 15+ minutes.

10:17 AM: Firefighters just told dispatch that PSE has arrived but is still figuring out the best way to shut off the gas to the broken 1 3/4″-inch line.

10:33 AM: They’ve revised that to a 5/8″-inch line, but they’re “still working on the solution,” firefighters told dispatch.

10:44 AM: SFD says PSE has clamped off the line and stopped the leak.

Water woes in southeast Admiral

The photo is from William on 37th SW between Hanford and Hinds, who reports: “Just to let you know water has been on and off today for the last few hours, and it’s still quite brown at the moment. Many neighbors experiencing the same.” That’s apparently related to a water outage this morning in the area – we got a text about it last hour, but when we checked the SPU water-trouble map moments later, it was listed as an “emergency repair” situation that had been resolved. We’re following up with SPU.

Two brown-water reports so far today in West Seattle

So far today, we’ve had two brown-water reports – from Garrett in Arbor Heights and Melinda in North Delridge. Again today, no Seattle Public Utilities work mapped in West Seattle – either emergency or planned – so it’s likely hydrant testing stirring up sediment (rust) in the lines again, but if it happens to you, ALWAYS report it to SPU’s 24-hour hotline, 206-386-1800. The discoloration is not toxic but can stain your laundry, so you’ll want to be sure the water runs clear before you resume that.

Brown water in Highland Park, Upper Morgan

Two “brown water” reports received by email this afternoon – in Highland Park, reported by Emerson near 18th/Henderson, and in Upper Morgan, reported by Andrew near 36th/Morgan. No work – planned or emergency – on the Seattle Public Utilities water-incidents map, so chances are, it’s hydrant testing. But always report to SPU at 206-386-1800 – sometimes it’s the first indication they get of trouble.

UPDATE: About the water at the bottom of Admiral Way hill

April 1, 2024 4:09 pm
|    Comments Off on UPDATE: About the water at the bottom of Admiral Way hill
 |   Utilities | West Seattle news

4:09 PM: We’ve received several reports today about a significant amount of water in the street today at the bottom of the Admiral Way hill, just before the bridge. One person who called Seattle Public Utilities (206-386-1800, 24/7) says they were told “they’re doing some work around there”; the SPU water-incident map shows “planned work” today a short distance uphill.

5:33 PM: SPU’s Sabrina Register confirms this is related to the mapped work at Spokane/Fauntleroy: “Water crews should wrap up their planned work involving a valve later this evening, which should fix the issue.”

Westside Neighbors Shelter gets new help, from the sky to the stage

A nearby resident noticed crews installing solar panels recently atop the building in The Triangle that holds Westside Neighbors Shelter, the West Seattle Veteran Center, and American Legion Post 160. We asked shelter manager/post commander Keith Hughes about it; he said the building now has a “14.6 KW Solar Array on the roof. It was all completed with donated equipment and donated labor. By my calculations, it will provide about 65% of our current electrical use, saving us an average of about $450 per month.” We asked about the donors: “This was a joint effort of West Seattle Electric and Solar, Platt Electric Supply, and Mad Energy Solar of Puyallup.” (WS Electric and Solar is Keith’s own company.) Meantime, two other notes about West Seattle’s only emergency shelter, itself operated with donations and volunteers: First, also on the subject of utility bills, the shelter has new help to cover theirs, thanks to a church group from Capitol Hill – read about that here. Second, one week from today you’re invited to support the shelter while enjoying great music – the West Seattle-based Boeing Employees Choir is performing a benefit concert at 4 pm Sunday, April 7th. No tickets needed; donations will be accepted at the door, at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church (3050 California SW).

UPDATE: Water break floods EC Hughes Playground

10:04 PM: A report of a water break at EC Hughes Playground has police first on the scene, with an officer saying the break is “flooding the whole park.” Dispatch is reporting it to Seattle Public Utilities.

10:39 PM: Officers just reported to dispatch that the water’s been turned off.

11:59 PM: Thanks to “Sunrise Heights” for sending the video and photo, added above.

UPDATE: Brown water in Gatewood

4:33 PM: So far we have two reports from Gatewood this afternoon about discolored tap water. No emergencies are showing on the Seattle Public Utilities water map, which means hydrant testing is a possibility – that tends to stir up sediment (rust) in the pipes, and as we reported recently, this is the start of the busy season for testing. If brown water happens to you, be sure to contact SPU’s 24/7 hotline at 206-386-1800 to let them know, even if you think someone else in your neighborhood already has. (And don’t do laundry until you’re sure the water’s running clear!)

8:27 PM: As noted in comments, SPU confirmed hydrants were being tested.

FOLLOWUP: What to know about fire-hydrant inspections

(WSB photo, Sunday morning)

After more brown water this weekend – including at WSB HQ – blamed on hydrant testing, which stirs up “sediment” (mostly rust) in the lines, we checked with SFD to see if they had any stats on the number of hydrants tested, and if they could recap the policy. Here’s the reply we received from SFD spokesperson Kristin Hanson:

Per our department policy, hydrants are not inspected when temperatures are below 35 degrees to comply with cold weather procedures, so many stations likely saw a “bright” opportunity with the sunshine this weekend to get started. We inspect all hydrants on an annual basis, typically between the hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hydrant inspections within neighborhoods is dependent on when the fire station is able to work it into their schedule (with call volume, scheduled training, etc.).

We do keep an internal dashboard for hydrants that tracks the completed hydrant inspections for each fire station district. At this time it isn’t available to the public, and is not updated in real-time so it wouldn’t be of use to alert residents in advance to inspections in their neighborhood. To that point, you mentioned that you saw Engine 37 testing hydrants yesterday; however, that has not been updated in the dashboard. For 2024, it appears the majority of our stations have yet to begin (or not yet recorded) hydrant inspections. We do however, have crews contact the SPU Hydrant Inspection Messaging Line prior to flowing water into the barrel of a City-owned hydrant for non-emergency purposes, including conducting annual hydrant inspections, drilling, refilling the booster tank, or flow testing for the Fire Prevention Division.

Hydrant testing isn’t the only potential cause of brown water, though, so even if you think that’s the cause, please notify Seattle Public Utilities’ hotline – 206-386-1800 – it may be first word of a line break or other problem.

UPDATE: Brown water in Upper Fauntleroy; hydrant testing continues

9:53 AM: This time it’s happening here in Upper Fauntleroy, about a mile south of the Gatewood report from Saturday; since early this morning, the water has looked like iced tea. Nothing on the Seattle Public Utilities map. We just got through to SPU’s hotline – 206-386-1800 – and they blame early-morning hydrant testing.

11:26 AM: To be specific, SPU said the hydrant testing was at a “record” pace, and apparently they weren’t exaggerating: We passed firefighters opening two hydrants in Morgan Junction and en route to a third.

Brown water in Gatewood

Per a text, discolored water is happening in the 6700 block of 41st SW. No incidents on the Seattle Public Utilities map so far, but if/when it happens to you, it’s always important to report it – SPU’s 24-hour number for this is 206-386-1800 – because your report might be first word of a problem. (Another common cause: Hydrant testing stirring up sediment, aka rust, in the pipes.)

Brown water reported near Alki Point

March 15, 2024 7:33 pm
|    Comments Off on Brown water reported near Alki Point
 |   Utilities | West Seattle news

A texter reports discolored water near Bar-S Playfields on Alki Point. No incidents are shown on the water-outage map. Remember to report it to Seattle Public Utilities at 206-386-1800 if it ever happens to you.

Water work at Fauntleroy intersection

If you’re traveling through Fauntleroy late tonight or early tomorrow, take care around the intersection of 44th/Brace Point/Wildwood, on the east edge of the Endolyne mini-business district – a Seattle Public Utilities crew is there for what’s described as “planned work,” affecting more than 60 nearby homes and businesses, but expected to be wrapped up by morning.

UPDATE: Power outage at Jefferson Square

March 9, 2024 1:10 pm
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 |   Utilities | West Seattle news

1:10 PM: Thanks for the tips. Power is out at Jefferson Square, as confirmed by the Seattle City Light outage map, which says 110 customers are affected. (One business, residence, etc. = one customer.) The map says “equipment failure” is to blame. We don’t know which businesses are affected so be forewarned if you were planning to head that way.

1:36 PM: The map indicates the outage is over.

About the emergency response on California near Hinds

(Added: Photo by Christopher Boffoli)

We have received several questions about a Seattle Fire response that’s been blocking the southbound lanes of California near Hinds. They were originally called there for a suspected gas leak. They couldn’t find evidence of a leak but with Puget Sound Energy‘s help have finally traced the concern to a problem with a meter, which PSE has shut down. The SFD crews will be departing shortly, firefighters just told dispatch.

UPDATE: Xfinity outage reported, post-squall

10:37 PM: According to multiple texted reports, that big squall a half-hour or so ago left behind an Xfinity outage. We’ve heard from customers near 42nd/Andover and 42nd/Manning.

11:30 PM: One of our tipsters reports restoration.

UPDATE: Power outage leaves some Westwood Village businesses in the dark

WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON: Thanks for the tip. A reader found a sign on the door at Westwood Village Marshall’s saying the store’s without power. The Seattle City Light map shows a 26-customer outage in the area, blamed on “equipment failure.” We went to the center for a quick survey and it appears that businesses north of QFC, on the east-facing side, are affected, so if you’re planning to go to one of the businesses in that area, try calling before you leave.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: We asked SCL spokesperson Jenn Strang about the outage: “This appears to be an underground system issue. In order to fully and safely access equipment, we will need to take additional phases of power to the shopping center offline.” They delayed that a bit at the request of WWV management, but the outage appears to be resolved now.

UPDATE: Power outage southeast of Westwood Village

February 25, 2024 4:00 pm
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 |   Utilities | West Seattle news | West Seattle weather

4 PM: Thanks for the tip. On this blustery afternoon, a fallen tree/branch is blamed for that 46-customer power outage southeast of Westwood Village. The reader who texted us says, “We heard a loud boom and then everything went dead.” No other outages reported in West Seattle so far today.

5:31 PM: Our tipster tells us the power was restored around 5.