Island is no longer under emergency water restrictions, city says

Reservoir tanks have refilled to adequate levels.

In its third day of reports on the Mercer Island water supply situation, the city has noted that residents and businesses can now commence using water judiciously after diligent Islanders immensely reduced their water use over the past two days.

Mercer Island’s two four-million-gallon reservoir tanks have “successfully refilled to adequate levels,” the city informed residents in a social media post on the afternoon of July 10.

Voluntary water conservation is still necessary for the city to maintain the sufficient tank levels.

“We need to ensure water demand does not once again overwhelm incoming supply while we are still operating on the backup supply line,” the post reads.

On May 1, City Manager Jessi Bon declared a local state of emergency regarding the water issue, during which the Island is currently receiving water through the 16-inch backup line as the 24-inch mainline is being mended following leakage that occurred in April.

For conservation steps necessary to keep the Island’s water supply on a positive track, visit:

“If water use once again begins to significantly exceed demand and reservoir levels drop, we will need to return to emergency water restrictions,” noted the city, adding that staffers are closely monitoring water use and reservoir levels.

On its pipe repair front, Seattle Public Utilities contractors recently installed 1,300 feet of flexible liner into the mainline, which is expected to be fully operational by the end of July after additional testing and disinfecting, the city said. The leakage took place near 95th Court SE.

Residents peppered the city with questions on its Facebook page over the last two days regarding posting of water conservation signs, why the immediate efforts were necessary and if there could have been a total shutdown for a few hours overnight to refill the water supply in the two reservoirs.

Since July 8, the city said, variable message signs (or digital reader board trailers) stating that immediate water conservation was necessary were situated on two major Island roadways.

During the scorching weather that began last weekend, Islanders had been using heaps more water than normal and that caused the tanks to face depletion quicker than refilling could occur, according to the city, which has since seen vast improvement in reservoir tank levels.

Regarding the shutdown query, the city answered: “The water system must have constant flow and pressure to ensure safety, so it can’t be shut down without major ramifications. Water is also vital for living and emergency response, so we must ensure there is water reaching our fire hydrants, homes, etc.”

One Islander thanked the city for apprising residents of the situation: “Please continue to try to help spread awareness for water conservation.”