Utilities 1286 results

UPDATE: Gas-leak response near 36th/Hanford

August 29, 2023 11:34 am
|    Comments Off on UPDATE: Gas-leak response near 36th/Hanford
 |   Utilities | West Seattle news

11:34 AM: Seattle Fire is on the scene of a reported natural-gas leak on 36th SW just north of SW Hanford. They’re calling for Seattle City Light because they’ve noted a “high-voltage transformer” relatively close to the source of the leak.

11:45 AM: Puget Sound Energy – which handles gas service in our area – is still en route.

NOON: PSE has arrived, firefighters just told dispatch.

12:10 PM: And they’ve subsequently “secured the leak.”

UPDATE: 15-customer power outage southeast of The Junction

August 28, 2023 6:46 pm
|    Comments Off on UPDATE: 15-customer power outage southeast of The Junction
 |   Utilities | West Seattle news

6:46 PM: After a bit of a lag, the Seattle City Light outage map is now showing an outage a texter says started about 6:25 pm. They heard an explosion and then lost power. The map says 15 customers are out.

7:25 PM: Our texter reports that a dead crow was found near the origin of the outage – “closed circuit and blew fuse,” they were told, along with the promise that power should be back shortly.

UTILITY NOTES: Mystery brown water in Fauntlee Hills; followup on Puget Ridge’s Saturday power outage

Two West Seattle utility notes:

MYSTERY BROWN WATER: Via text, a reader report: “Just want to report brown water to multiple homes in the Fauntlee Hills area (39th and 40th Ave SW). Called SPU. They said no fire hydrant testing in the area and are sending this to the water quality inspector to investigate.” Hydrant testing has been the most common cause of brown water – stirring up sediment (rust) in the lines – lately, but certainly isn’t the only possibility, which is why reporting it to 206-386-1800 is important, every time.

SATURDAY OUTAGE FOLLOWUP: More than 300 Seattle City Light customers, mostly on Puget Ridge, lost power for more than an hour and a half on Saturday night, as reported here. Shortly after the start of the outage, SFD responded to a “vault fire” call in the 6700 block of West Marginal Way. Today when we followed up, SCL’s Jenn Strang confirmed the two were related – the vault fire actually led to the wider outage: “We de-energized the additional 319 customers for a brief period out of an abundance of caution while SFD and City Light crews safely entered the area. SFD confirmed there was no active fire, but smoke was coming from the vault. The cause was determined to be a fuse in the underground system.”

POWER PROBLEMS: 300+ customers in Puget Ridge area out; vault fire on West Marginal

7:29 PM: Thanks for the tips. Above is a screengrab of the Seattle City Light map showing 317 customers lost power about 10 minutes ago, mostly in the Puget Ridge area. No obvious cause yet. Let us know if you see SCL crews!

7:51 PM: We don’t know yet if it’s related but SFD is responding to a vault fire in the 6700 block of West Marginal [map]. Firefighters report “light smoke coming from an underground vault” and SFD says via Twitter/X: “Firefighters are establishing a 300-foot safety perimeter as a precaution and to protect nearby structures.” … The outage map has, since the start, included two spots off West Marginal, including one in the area of the vault fire, so that might be an indication.

8:05 PM: They’re dismissing most of the units from the vault-fire call.

9:19 PM: Power’s restored to the 300+ who were out.

BIZNOTE FOLLOWUP: Junction plumbing repairs almost done

It’s been almost two weeks since we first reported on sewer-line repairs affecting Elliott Bay Brewing and then Talarico’s Pizza in The Junction. The work got ever more complicated, Tim O’Neill of O’Neill Plumbing Company (WSB sponsor) explained, as they dealt with, among other things, a century-old line. He sent an update today explaining that you’ll see his crews in the area a little while longer:

Both Elliott Bay Brewery & Talarico’s Pizzeria are open for business.

The EBB pipe-lining project from inside the building’s basement to the main on California Ave ha been completed.

We then moved over to Talarico’s to make similar repairs and have found additional pipe separations near the curb line that will require some equipment that is not readily available until early next week.

We apologize for the inconvenience and hope to have everything, including the cement repairs, completed by 8/31.

UPDATE: 4,700 lose power in West Seattle, third outage in less than two months with similar footprint

4:32 AM: Thanks for the tips. 4,700 customers are out of power in (mostly) northwest West Seattle. More info to come ….

4:37 AM: Added above, a screengrab of the City Light map showing the outage zone. We haven’t heard an obvious cause yet. The power went out at 4:25.

4:48 AM: According to a commenter, the problem is at California/Hudson [map]. SFD and City Light are reported to be there.

5 AM: A similar footprint was affected by an outage on July 2nd – that outage was caused by a driver taking out a pole and lines at Admiral/47th/Waite – as well as another one July 24th blamed on an equipment problem (blown fuses) near 30th/Brandon. …

5:40 AM: The map now blames “equipment failure” for the outage. … Via Twitter/X, SCL verifies the “failure” happened at California/Hudson – “downed wire.”

5:43 AM: Some commenters are reporting their power’s back.

5:56 AM: The SCL map has finally updated to reflect that. 2,644 customers still out – will add the revised map, for the record, in a moment. (added) Here it is:

6:36 AM: Commenters say there’s at least a pocket around 47th/Admiral that’s still out, not shown on the map update. … That outage pocket is reported to include the 47th/Admiral signal.

6:46 AM: Thanks to Kevin Freitas, who keeps a continuous skywatching camera going, for sharing this video of how the sky lit up when the outage-triggering failure happened (a few blocks west of his residence):

Meantime, we looked further back in WSB archives. Before the three summer outages (including this one) with similar footprints but different causes, we had three other outages this year affecting thousands in West Seattle, all blamed on trees:
-1/13/23, 4,400+ out after tree came down in North Delridge
-2/3/23, 3,200+ out after tree came down (in wind) in North Delridge
-6/6/23, 3,300+ out after tree came down (in slide) on Harbor Avenue

(There were also several smaller but still notable outages affecting hundreds.)

7:10 AM: The SCL map has added back the Admiral area from which commenters were reporting “still out but not shown on map.” That brings the total out to 2,900+.

7:16 AM: Now that it’s light, our photographer went over to California/Hudson, where a City Light crew is working:

The wires/cables are by the stairway:

9:04 AM: Commenters and SCL report more restored – fewer than 300 still out.

10:47 AM: The map shows the outage entirely resolved. We’ll be following up with City Light for more specifics on the cause.

ADDED 3:49 PM: Here’s what City Light spokesperson Jenn Strang tells us:

CAUSE: The owl mentioned by commenter “Admiral” below was the actual cause, Strang says, in a chain reaction of sorts: “The owl contact outage at SW Walker St and 47th Ave SW resulted in the wire coming down at California and Hudson.”

FOOTPRINT: We asked how three outages with different causes, in different areas (though the owl at 47th/Walker is close to the 47th/Admiral/Waite crash scene at the heart of the early July outaage), wound up with pretty much the same footprint. Strang’s reply: “The footprint is similar because of how the infrastructure is laid out from that particular substation to the outlying feeders.” In some cases, she added, the footprint is affected when SCL has to de-energize an area for safe repairs, but in this case, the identical footprint was shown from the very start of the outage, long before repairs.

Pole falls, wires down near Constellation Park

Thanks to Cathy for the photos. Separate from the earlier South Alki power outage, a pole has fallen and brought down wires at 64th/Beach Drive, across from Constellation Park.

No injuries, Cathy reports. Seattle City Light‘s map says this is affecting one customer.

UPDATE: South Alki power outage

10:04 AM: Thanks for the tips. Almost 300 customers in the South Alki area lost power about 20 minutes ago; above is a screengrab of the Seattle City Light map that shows the area affected. No official cause listed by SCL yet but Lamont, who lives in the area, reports finding a dead bird beneath a transformer.

1:30 PM: Lamont reported that power was back as of just after 1 pm, but SCL’s map hasn’t updated yet.

2:45 PM: Checked back on the map and it does now reflect that this outage has been completely resolved.

BIZNOTE FOLLOWUP: Elliott Bay Brewing reopens in West Seattle

(Added: WSB photo)

4:07 PM: Just heard from Elliott Bay Brewing proprietor Todd Carden: They’re reopening EBB’s West Seattle Junction flagship location at 4:30 pm. As noted here last Friday, it’s been closed several days while plumbers worked on a stubborn sewer-line problem. Repairs are now complete.

ADDED 11:28 PM: Still some work to do, Tim O’Neill of O’Neill Plumbing (WSB sponsor) tells us: “We have been making repairs to an old sewer system that’s been functioning for a century, but finally decided to give up…….. We have found good solid pipe to connect to. The prior pipe we were following was in too bad of condition to reconnect to.” That’s what enabled Elliott Bay to reopen. Next: “Tomorrow we will be inserting a liner from where we made these repairs, out to the middle of the street to reinforce that stretch of pipe. Next step after that will be to make a smaller, yet similar repair to Talarico’s pipe that is in the same general location. We thank everyone for theit patience and please stop into these two great restaurants for a cold brew and a bite !!”

UTILITIES: Brown water on Genesee Hill

Thanks to the texter who reported brown water on Genesee Hill this afternoon, near 46th/Genesee. As always, if it happens to you, be sure to advise Seattle Public Utilities at 206-386-1800. It’s often the result of sediment in the lines stirred up by jydrat testing, but not always – sometimes it’s first word of a pipe problem in the area. (We did see firefighters opening a hydrant on the Gatewood side of SW Thistle today, not far from our HQ, but our water’s been OK.)

UPDATE: Roadway water at Westwood

2:06 PM: We first noticed that visible water flow late in the day yesterday, bubbling from a drain at Westwood Village – more like what you’d see during a storm, but of course, the weather remains dry. It’s resulted in the taping off of part of the south-side east/west drive, just east of Target/Game Stop/Ross. We went back at midday today and it’s still taped off, with the water flow continuing, so we’ve contacted Seattle Public Utilities to find out if they’re aware of the problem and if repairs are planned. Meantime, you’ll have to detour around it if you’re driving to/at WWV.

4 PM: SPU spokesperson Ingrid Goodwin tells WSB, “SPU crews were dispatched this afternoon to check out the running water. They determined that the leak is not coming from the City’s pipe, but rather is the result of a leak on private property.” So that means it’s up to the center to fix.

In case you wondered too: Seattle City Light tree trimming

That’s a screengrab from a Seattle City Light map showing where it’s currently trimming back trees that are close to power lines. We received a call from a concerned reader about major trimming happening along California in South Admiral, so we checked, and learned about the map. As noted in the past, City Light’s pruning work can sometimes appear to be dramatic; this page explains the standards to which they trim to try to reduce tree/line conflicts, which are to blame for many power outages.

(Added: WSB photo)

If they have to cut a tree that’s on your property, you’re supposed to get advance notice. (And yes, there have been past problems – so contact the utility if you think a crew is going beyond the published standards.)

FOLLOWUP: Why Alki’s Pump Station 38 project stalled

August 6, 2023 10:18 am
|    Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Why Alki’s Pump Station 38 project stalled
 |   Utilities | West Seattle news

(WSB photo, Friday)

If you frequently pass by the Pump Station 38 project site in the 1400 block of Alki Avenue SW, you’ve likely noticed the construction isn’t complete yet, even though it was described as near completion months ago. The artwork is installed, as our photo shows, along with the new guardrail, but otherwise, cones and holes remain. Seattle Public Utilities says in an update, “The work has been delayed due to a malfunctioning pump that needed to be returned to the manufacturer for repair. At this time, the project is tentatively scheduled to be completed in September.” That’ll be five months longer than the “up to nine months” estimated when work started in July of last year.

UPDATE: Brown water near Lowman Beach, in Morgan Junction

11:51 AM: Sent by Trileigh:

I just tried to refill a bottle, and our water is running brown and cloudy. Maybe with the fresh rain a pipe is leaking somewhere? Above Lowman in the Pelly Place neighborhood.

Nothing on the Seattle Public Utilities water-outage map, so either it’s hydrant testing again or an as-yet-unaddressed problem .. always notify SPU about brown water (which is caused by unusual line activity stirring up “sediment,” mostly rust) at 206-386-1800.

11:57 AM: Just as we published that report, we got a text from someone in the Morgan Junction area saying they’re seeing it too and SPU says it’s hydrant testing.

Brown water in North Admiral

Texter reports brown water in North Admiral. Anyone else? If you’re seeing it, be sure to report to Seattle Public Utilities at 206-386-1800 – it’s often fire-hydrant testing, but sometimes it can be first indication of a problem.

UPDATE: Delridge power outage takes out traffic signal, store

July 30, 2023 4:57 pm
|    Comments Off on UPDATE: Delridge power outage takes out traffic signal, store
 |   Utilities | West Seattle news

4:57 PM: Thanks for the tips. A power outage centered near Delridge/Orchard is only affecting 26 customers but at least one store – Sherwin-Williams – is among them, as is the traffic signal at that intersection.

9:40 PM: Not fixed yet, per SCL map.

1:12 AM: Just checked again; power’s back.

Brown water in Morgan Junction

July 28, 2023 4:32 pm
|    Comments Off on Brown water in Morgan Junction
 |   Utilities | West Seattle news

Thanks to the texter who reported brown water from their taps in the Morgan Junction area this afternoon. Reminder that lately it’s usually because of fire-hydrant testing, but not always, so it’s important to always report it to Seattle Public Utilities at 206-386-1800.

FOLLOWUP: Here’s what caused last night’s West Seattle power outage

As covered here last night, more than 4,700 homes and businesses lost power in West Seattle last night for up to three hours. Today, Seattle City Light spokesperson Jenn Strang explains what happened: “Last night, crews determined the cause to be two wires that had become disconnected from their insulators and were laying on the cross arm at SW Brandon & 30th Avenue SW. This could have been the result of any number of factors – wind, weather, bird/animal, or environmental – but at the time last evening, we were not able to determine the exact correlation. Our staff and crews did a great job isolating the problem and restoring power to a large group in just a few hours.” This was the second sizable West Seattle outage this month; the previous one, early July 2nd, was caused by a suspected DUI driver hitting a pole and taking out lines at 47th/Admiral.

1:49 PM: Strang says on followup, “When crews were on site, they found two of three blown fuses, which is likely the cause of the outage.”

UPDATE: Outage cuts power to 4,700+ in West Seattle

7:28 PM: More than 4,700 customers are out. The outage stretches from North Admiral to High Point. Updates to come.

7:40 PM: SCL says officially only that the “cause is under investigation.” We’re checking out a couple possibilities. Meantime, if you hear a lot of sirens, remember that outages tend to trigger smoke and CO alarms and get people stuck in elevators, all of which require SFD responses – several are shown on the real-time 911 log right now. … As a commenter points out, the footprint of this outage is almost identical to the one three weeks ago.

8:08 PM: No word on the cause yet, though multiple readers near Camp Long and points south/east have mentioned “booms” at the time. As for how long it’ll take to fix, our standard reminder, don’t get fixated on the SCL “estimated restoration time,” which is usually just a wild guess – could be much sooner, occasionally later.

8:24 PM: And indeed, some are reporting they’re back on now, after an hour. The map usually lags in updates, so it’ll be at least a few minutes before we know how many are back on.

8:28 PM: 2,645 still out, per map. … Here’s the new City Light map:

9:20 PM: The SCL map now attributes the outage to “equipment failure” (if we aren’t able to get more specifics on that tonight, we will tomorrow).

10:15 PM: And after almost three hours, more just got power back. Looking at the map, it appears this outage is now entirely over. (If you’re still out but not shown on the map, contact SCL at 206-684-3000 to be sure they know.)

UPDATE: Delridge reopens after gas-leak closure

July 15, 2023 12:19 pm
|    Comments Off on UPDATE: Delridge reopens after gas-leak closure
 |   Utilities | West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(Added: Photo sent by Max)

12:19 PM: Thanks for the tips – a section of Delridge Way is closed because of a gas-leak response at Delridge/Dakota. Traffic cameras show one end of the closure is at Delridge/Oregon. Updates to come.

12:35 PM: Police have just told dispatch that this is winding down and the road should reopen within half an hour.

12:38 PM: And now SFD has told dispatch “gas line secured.”

12:57 PM: Delridge Way has reopened both ways.

Brown water in Seaview again

Two days in a row for brown water reports from Seaview. Tuesday morning we heard about it from B; this past hour we heard about it from Suzanne. She called the Seattle Public Utilities 24/7 line – 206-386-1800 – and was told that it’s hydrant testing yet again. If brown water happens at your home/business, call to report it even if you think that’s what’s happening; sometimes it’s first word of another problem, like a line break.

UPDATE: Natural-gas leak in Highland Park

11:28 AM: Thanks to Kay for the tip. SFD is at Highland Park Way/Austin/Holden for a natural-gas leak response; avoid the area.

11:55 AM: Highland Park Way hill is closed because of this. Neighbors remind you to please slow down when detouring through neighborhoods.

12:04 PM: We’ve arrived in the area to try to find out more. Heading eastbound on Holden, it’s closed at 11th. Also, note that Metro Route 131 is rerouted because of the closures.

12:16 PM: SFD tells us a 2″ gas line was punctured by a construction crew. City Light is also in the area because they decided to take down the power as a precaution until the leak can be stopped. Meantime, approaching the area northbound, 9th is blocked at Kenyon.

12:39 PM: SFD has closed out the call and buses have resumed their regular routing, indicating roads have reopened (we’re headed back to check).

12:45 PM: Confirmed – all back open.

4 PM: We asked SDOT if the crew was theirs or a contractor’s, since they’ve been working in the area. Here’s the response from spokesperson Ethan Bergerson:

Workers for KC Equipment punctured a gas line this morning at 10:45 am. KC Equipment is a private construction firm on contract with SDOT to build a new traffic signal at SW Holden St and Highland Park Way SW. KC Equipment immediately reported the incident to Puget Sound Energy.

Puget Sound Energy crews arrived on site and confirmed that they had patched the line and that the area was safe shortly after noon. Seattle Fire Department, Seattle Police Department, and Seattle City Light were all also on-site to assist with ensuring public safety.

He adds that no injuries were reported.

UPDATE: Brown water in North Delridge, Seaview

10:04 AM: In our continued chronicling of brown-water reports around West Seattle, a texter reports getting “rusty” water this morning in North Delridge, near the Nucor mill. Nothing on the SPU emergency map, so it might be hydrant testing again, but if it happens to you, please report it to their 24/7 line at 206-386-1800.

ADDED FRIDAY NIGHT: For the record, Seaview had brown water today too – just found a note Cindy sent in the early afternoon, “letting you know we (and our neighbors) have brown water. 6300 block of 46th Ave SW.”