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!)