Seattle Public Utilities

Creek Restoration
5:14 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Currently A Ditch, Seattle's Longest Creek Soon To Be A Stream Again

SPU's Jason Sharpley survey's a culvert that will soon be removed to help restore Thornton Creek.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Utility crews are about to take a busy northeast Seattle thoroughfare out of commission for six months.

But in exchange for shutting down five blocks of 35th Avenue Northeast, utilities officials say the neighborhood will get relief from chronic flooding and a very new look for the city's longest creek.

The north and south branches of Thornton Creek converge just east of 35th Avenue. Floodwaters often submerge sections of the street after big storms and can inundate homes, Meadowbrook Community Center and nearby Nathan Hale High School.

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Water Main Break
8:16 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Crews Fix U-Village Water Main Break

A massive water main break near the University Village Shopping Center in Seattle is fixed. Seattle Public Utilities says it restored service shortly after 2 a.m. Wednesday.

The incident began Tuesday afternoon, when a 16-inch pipe burst near the busy U Village Shopping Center, flooding streets and hampering the evening commute.

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Preventing Urban Flooding
5:01 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Seattle Park is Giant Storm Drain

The stormwater holding area at 30th Avenue East and East John can hold nearly two million gallons of stormwater during very large storms. Its expansion was completed in December 2009.
Bellamy Pailthorp photo KPLU News

Recent summer storms have many locals concerned about urban flooding, or fast-flowing water overwhelming storm drains.

In Seattle’s Madison Valley neighborhood, outdated infrastructure led to a tragic death in 2006, but the city says the chronic flooding there should be fixed now.

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Water pollution
5:00 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Human fecal bacteria confirmed in Seattle’s Thornton Creek

Fecal coliform bacteria has been found at several locations in the Thornton Creek watershed. A new study confirms the source is in large part human sewage.
courtesy Seattle Public Utilities

Scientists with the city of Seattle are narrowing in on the source of polluted water that flows through the city’s largest watershed. With a new study, they’ve confirmed human fecal bacteria are likely entering Thornton Creek at multiple locations near Northgate and Lake City Way.

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Environment
10:18 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Climate change pushing water system upgrades

Snowpack in the crest of the Cascade Mountains provides storage for Seattle's Cedar River watershed. Lowering snow levels are expected because of global warming, putting the supply at risk.
Credit Courtsey Seattle Public Utilities

Global climate change is a reality that few people now deny. 2012 was the warmest year on record. So what about Seattle’s water supply? 

Managers say they need to speed up about $30-million of investment in a backup plan.

About two thirds of Seattle’s water comes from one of the most pristine sources in the nation. The Cedar River Watershed lies in more than 90,000 acres of protected land southeast of the city, near North Bend.

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Environment
10:51 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Settlement on Seattle sewage overflows heads to council

Combined sewer overflows still threaten some Seattle beaches after heavy rains, closing them to recreation and violating the federal Clean Water Act.
Courtesy Seattle Public Utilities

A more efficient way to fix one of Seattle’s most embarrassing environmental problems – that’s the promise of a proposed agreement on meeting federal standards for clean water.

The problem is untreated sewage that flows into our lakes and other waterways after big storms.

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Seattle city workers
10:50 am
Fri December 2, 2011

3 Seattle utilities employees fired over $440

The Seattle Public Utilities agency fired three employees Friday and suspended a fourth for tampering with billing records.

The agency says an investigation found they waived late fees, readjusted payment periods or manipulated payment arrangements.

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Seattle city workers
4:30 am
Wed October 19, 2011

Performance will take you into Seattle sewers and beyond!

Artist Stokley Towles.

"... tell yourself lies. I’m in a candy factory. I’m surrounded by candy."

Oh, the things they've seen: By stringing together narratives of different workers, one artist has created a show illustrating what it’s like working in the sewers.

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Storm water runoff
12:20 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

Seattle removes rain gardens in Ballard

This photo, taken in the winter of 2011, shows one of the failed rain gardens in Ballard the city is spending $500,000 to remove.
Ballard Raingardengue blog

Just a year ago, Seattle was promoting its roadside rain garden project in Ballard. Now, the city is spending half a million dollars to dismantle huge sections of it.

Some neighborhood residents say, despite good intentions, the whole thing has been a fiasco.

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Graffiti removal
8:05 am
Tue July 12, 2011

Seattle to hand out supplies in its new anti-graffiti campaign

The city of Seattle wants you to help fight graffiti.
Jake Ellison KPLU

The debate over whether graffiti is art or just plain old vandalism has been raging for decades. But if you fall in the camp that thinks it’s a blight on society, or just your property, Seattle Public Utilities wants you to participate in its Summer Paint Out program.

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