Water main break impacting Ballard area

Update 5:30 p.m.: Seattle Public Utilities says Ballard customers should expect reduced water pressure and mild discoloration until approximately 9 p.m. tonight. “The water remains well within safe drinking levels,” explains Jenna Franklin with SPU. “This type of break typically occurs during cold and rainy weather when waterlogged ground soil shifts and the cold ground pipes can’t accommodate the added pressure against the sealed joints.”

Update 2:45 p.m.: A large water main broke along Leary Way this afternoon, and many residents in the Ballard area are experiencing low pressure and seeing brown water come out of their faucets. Most of the reports that we’ve seen have come from the Sunset Hill area.

Seattle Public Utilities says the break is under Leary Way and 39th St. in Fremont (above). Crews have dug into the street to fix the break.

Public Utilities told us there’s no estimated time to fix it, and My Ballard reader Jen says they told her it will take a few hours, then a bit longer to flush out the brown water. If you’re seeing brown water, they recommend you avoid running hot water to minimize filling the hot water tank with turbid water. If you are washing clothes, it is better to stop the cycle while it is full and wait until clean water is available to finish. More information about brown water here.

Traffic along Leary Way in Fremont is diverted down to one lane in each direction. At last check, traffic was backed up a couple blocks in both directions. (Thanks Karen and Jen for the tips!)

14 comments on “Water main break impacting Ballard area”

  1. We have low pressure at 25th @ 67th. I haven't called the utility. Sounds like they're already on top of it.

  2. Whew! We were just thinking we were in for another “house bill” MyBallard is the best!

  3. Seattle — Today at approximately 2:10 p.m. crews from Seattle Public Utilities responded to low water pressure calls in Ballard and found that the 24 inch main water line servicing the majority of the Ballard neighborhood had to be throttled down. Crews began immediately repairing cracks in one or more of the connection points where smaller water mains link to the central line. Residential and business customers across the neighborhood should expect reduced water pressure and mild discoloration until approximately 9:00 p.m. tonight, and crews remain on location working in the right-of-way so some traffic delays may be experienced.
    This type of break typically occurs during cold and rainy weather when waterlogged ground soil shifts and the cold ground pipes can’t accommodate the added pressure against the sealed joints. When the pressure is throttled down, or flow is reversed to allow crews to access the main line and begin work, customers may also experience discoloration; however water remains well within safe drinking levels.
    Jenna Franklin
    Seattle Public Utilities, On-Call PIO
    http://www.seattle.gov/util

  4. Yeah. Glad to read this was the cause of the brown water STILL coming out of our tap at 7:42 PM. We live a block from Leary and 39 and some how missed seeing the huge trucks and workers.

    Hope the brown goes away soon……………..

  5. Yup! At about half the normal water pressure right now at 8:20pm. It's clear water though. I'm at 15th NW and NW 57th.

  6. We are at 8th and NW 54th….and have a filtration system from Custom Pure.
    We have had good pressure and clear drinking water all day.

    We did try to drive through that mess on Leary though….twice !

  7. Ah…don't ya just love good water pressure? And all things considered, the down time went pretty fast.

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