Are you Applying for Water Service from Seattle Public Utilities?

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is changing its Water Service Application requirements. They’re doing this to streamline interdepartmental coordination between SPU and Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). This will help them to ensure all pavement related to water projects in the public right-of-way is properly restored.

Starting December 12, 2016, you must include the following when submitting your water service application to SPU’s Development Services Office (DSO):

  • An issued SDOT 51M (pavement restoration) permit, OR
  • A 60% complete Street Improvement Permit plan approved by SDOT showing the complete restoration of all water related work on the paving plans

For more information, please contact the DSO at (206) 684-333 or

West Seattle Two Alarm Fire is Ruled as Accidental

May 1—Seattle Fire Investigators determined a two-alarm fire that damaged three homes was accidental, caused by an improperly installed heater on a back porch. The damage estimate is $2.7 million dollars total for all three homes.

On Thursday April 30th at 4:44 p.m., multiple 911 calls came into the Fire Alarm Center reporting smoke coming from a home in the 6700 block of 46th Avenue SW.  The first responding engine company  saw a large column of black smoke and called for a two-alarm fire response which doubled the number of fire units and personnel responding to the fire.

When crews arrive, they found two homes on fire with flames exposing to a third home. Soon, the third home was on fire. The Incident Commander called for three additional engine companies to assist with current fire crews on scene. At the height of the fire, nearly 100 firefighters and dozens of fire units were on scene.

Crews quickly determined that all occupants had safely evacuated the residences. A female occupant of the first fire house had escaped. A male and two females escaped the home to the north. The owner of the home to the south was out of town.

One significant challenge for firefighters was the long narrow hillside road with limited access.

As the fire progressed, firefighters connected to the four hydrants closest to the burning homes in two separate water pressure zones.  This included two hydrants above the fire and two below the fire. One of the initial four hydrants was located on Fauntleroy Ave SW which was about the length of two football fields.

As standard practice, Seattle Public Utilities responded to the fire scene to boost water flow on hydrants. The hydrants are owned, operated and maintained by Seattle Public Utilities. The Seattle Fire Code does not regulate SPU fire hydrants in the City of Seattle.

For the first two homes, firefighters took a defensive position, fighting the fire from the outside. They used the deck gun mounted on the first engine and a two-and-a-half inch hand line.

For the third home, firefighters ran an interior attack and crews worked to extinguish the fire on multiple floors.

The original fire house and the house to the south had partial collapses and firefighters were not able to enter.

There were no injuries to occupants or firefighters.

Multiple agencies assisted with the fire operation:

Seattle City Light
Seattle Police Department
Seattle Public Utilities
Seattle Department of Transportation
Metro Transit
Puget Sound Energy
South King County Fire Units From Zone 3 including:

  • Kent Fire Department
  • Renton Fire Department
  • Tukwila Fire Department
  • SeaTac Fire Department
  • South King County Fire Department


West Seattle Man Shot Following Text Message Dispute

One man was wounded after a dispute over text messages led to a shooting Thursday night outside a West Seattle apartment building.

Police responded to SW Morgan Street and 35th Avenue SW just before 9:45 PM after receiving reports that a man had fired shots from an apartment building, striking a man on the street. Officers evacuated the building and searched for the suspect, but were unable to find him.

The victim of the shooting also called 911 shortly after the incident and said he had been shot in the leg. Officers found the man across the street from the scene of the shooting.

The victim told officers he knew the suspect through a mutual acquaintance—an ex-girlfriend—and had received a series of harassing text messages from the man Thursday evening. When the victim went to the suspect’s apartment building to confront him over the texts, the suspect appeared on a third-floor balcony and opened fire.

Medics transported the victim to Harborview Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

Detectives are investigating the shooting.

2-Alarm Recycling Plant Fire Ruled as Accidental Fire

Photo Courtesy: John Odegard


Photo Courtes: John Odegard

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  December 31—Seattle Firefighters determined a two-alarm fire at a SODO recycling plant was an accidental fire. The cause was most likely the ignition of smoldering materials or spontaneous combustion of recycling materials.

At 10:44 p.m. on December 30, a 911 call came into the Fire Alarm Center reporting a small fire in pile of paper at the recycling center located in the 2700 block of 3rd Avenue South. The first arriving engine company found flames shooting from the roof of the metal building and a rubbish fire extending into the structure.  The crew called for a full-response bringing in approximately 40 firefighters to battle the flames.

The fire extended into more than 1500 cubic yards of recycled paper and plastics. Due to the large size of the building and the large volume of fire, a second alarm was called to bring in additional resources to help control the flames. At the height of the fire, approximately 90 firefighters were on-scene battling the fire.

Firefighters used several hose lines, Engine Company deck guns and the building’s sprinkler system to control the flames. Recycle plant personnel used front loader tractors to haul 3-yard bucket loads of smoldering debris out of the piles so firefighters could wet down the embers. It took nearly 8 hours to completely extinguish the fire.

Some of the challenges the firefighters faced were several-story high smoldering recycling piles that were unstable and at a risk of collapse. Also, sub-freezing temperatures caused discharged water to freeze forming black ice around the fire scene. The ice was a fall hazard to fire crews and also made it more challenging to reposition fire apparatus around the fire scene. SDOT sent a sand truck to help alleviate the black ice hazard.

Also, King County Metro sent a Metro Bus to act as a warming station for the firefighters to rehabilitate between battling the fire on the front lines.

The damage estimate is $10,000 including damage to the fiberglass siding of the business and damage to the electrical systems. We do not have an estimate for the damage to the recycling materials.



New public utility business plan would improve services and efficiency

Mayor Murray today proposed a six-year strategic business plan for Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) which maintains and improves essential services while holding annual rate increases — which have averaged almost 7 percent over the past 10 years — to 4.6 percent.

“Seattle needs to have predictable bills for vital utility services —drinking water, sewer, drainage, garbage and recycling — that strike the best balance between keeping bills as low as possible and making our city the best place to live,” Murray said. “I believe this intelligent plan will show us how to invest our customers’ money wisely.”

The mayor said the plan was guided by an independent customer review panel that met 28 times beginning April 2013, and by an efficiency expert who scrutinized SPU’s business practices. The public had a say in the plan, too, through an extensive public outreach process that received input from residents and businesses throughout the city.

In a letter to the mayor, the Customer Review Panel expressed its “strong endorsement” of the plan, which it said, “represents a responsible and important investment in infrastructure and services provided by Seattle Public Utilities, benefiting both current and future generations of customers.”

The Strategic Business Plan trims .5 percent from SPU’s budget through 2020, while at the same time adding a number of important service improvements. Those improvements include:

  • Making significant investments in reducing sewer overflows into the Sound, Lake Washington and other waterways.
  • Accelerating flooding and sewer backup prevention projects in the Broadview and South Park neighborhoods.
  • Increasing sewer pipe inspection, cleaning and rehabilitation to reduce sewer backups and overflows.
  • Preparing for water supply and utility system threats that may occur from climate change.
  • Developing a plan to protect the drinking water system from major, regional earthquakes.
  • Implementing a program so the Utility can achieve carbon neutrality.
  • Improving maintenance and operation of the approximately 60,000 valves in the drinking water system.
  • Expanding existing street sweeping to remove 440 tons of pollutants from our streets and drainage to reduce Puget Sound, Lake Washington and waterway pollution.
  • Improving the quality of drainage and sewer services through accelerated mapping, planning and policy development.
  • Actively ensuring that all communities and customer groups have equal access, service delivery and ability to use services.
  • Constructing a new North Seattle solid waste and recycling transfer station.
  • Centralizing and streamlining the utility permit, service and sales functions for development customers.

The plan will be reviewed by the City Council over the summer. The public is invited to take an online survey or learn more about the Strategic Business at a series of four meetings around the city this month:

More information on the draft Strategic Business Plan is available at