Mercer Island water supply limited due to construction mishap

Apr 20, 2023, 8:36 AM | Updated: 6:38 pm

mercer island water...

Mercer Island residents asked to continue water conservation efforts (KIRO 7)

(KIRO 7)

Update 11:56 a.m.:

Seattle Public Utilities crews said that they have made progress on the emergency repair to Mercer Island’s water supply line and that water service to the Island’s supply line is anticipated to be restored by late afternoon.   

Original 8:36 a.m.:

Water conservation efforts continue on Mercer Island, as residents are being asked to limit water use until further notice after Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) crews encountered an “unexpected problem” during construction work on Wednesday.

Residents were informed that construction work on the water supply line cannot be completed until at least Thursday morning.

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According to a community alert issued by the city, scheduled construction work was being done by SPU crews on the supply lines that provide water to the island when the problem occurred. Emergency repair work is being done to fix the supply lines and restore the island’s water supply.

“SPU crews encountered a seized valve when attempting to reconnect these supply lines at the end of this maintenance work [Tuesday,] meaning the Island’s water system must continue to rely on the reservoir tanks until that valve can be replaced and the water supply can be reconnected,” the city said Wednesday.

Mercer Island has been operating on the three reservoir tanks for the past 65 hours due to the construction work already, which has already stretched the limited water resources thin.

Currently, the island’s water system is operating from reserve tanks, but with limited water in the tanks, residents are asked to keep water use for only the necessities.

“By conserving as much water as possible, Islanders can help keep enough water in the reservoir tanks to maintain pressure. Please continue to minimize water use until further notice,” the city said.

An emergency proclamation is in effect for the entire island. There is no impact on water quality and safety at this time.

If water levels drop low enough in the reserves, a precautionary boil water notice could be issued. The city said that has not been necessary yet since “residents are doing a great job of conserving water.”

Restaurants, schools, groceries, hotels, or anywhere else that serves food should review Public Health’s webpage for operating under a boil water advisory.

The Mercer Island School District said that it will operate on a two-hour delay on Thursday due to the issue. Morning preschool is canceled.

Residents experiencing water issues at their homes or businesses can contact the city’s customer service team at 206-275-7600.

“The City is working closely with our regional emergency partners to maintain essential services and is in close consultation with Department of Health water safety experts. The Mercer Island Fire Department and partner fire agencies have coordinated and implemented a comprehensive plan to ensure we have the necessary resources on the island to continue to provide Fire and emergency medical services without disruption,” the city said.

Additional updates will be shared as they are available.

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Mercer Island water supply limited due to construction mishap