MI still receiving water through backup line/ Update

Mercer Island is still receiving water through its backup line more than two weeks after its main water line was shut off due to a leaking underground water pipe.

Earlier this month, residents from 20 Mercer Island homes were evacuated because of a landslide risk due to the faulty pipe.

“We are evaluating our water needs as we move into a higher demand season,” said City Manager Jessi Bon in a report during city council’s April 16 meeting. She added that the city is eager to get the Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) main transition line back into service soon.

Bon said that the city and SPU have engaged in daily meetings since April 3.

“We also are assessing some work that we may need to do in the area to our own water main,” said Bon, adding that residents in the neighborhood (near 95th Court Southeast) will be apprised when work is scheduled to commence.

In a social media post on April 24, the city noted:

“This backup line will not keep up with summer water demand and it is likely water conservation efforts will need to be enacted to manage daily demands. These may include reducing garden and lawn irrigation, running the dishwasher and washing machine only with a full load, using commercial car washes that recycle water, and reducing personal water use wherever possible. Although no conservation measures are currently in place, we are providing early notice that these actions are likely to be implemented soon.”

Presently, the Shorewood community is being served by a temporary emergency inter-tie to the city’s water system. Normally, the community receives water directly from SPU, according to a city report.

The evacuees spent the night of April 3 away from home and received the go-ahead to return to their abodes on the evening of April 4.

To alleviate the landslide risk, SPU crews shut off their leaking 24-inch high-pressure water pipe — which provides water to the Island — that created unstable soil conditions. It was a critical action that SPU needed to achieve overnight, according to Bon.

After turning off the supply to the city’s main water line, the Island was receiving water into its reservoir tank and running it through its backup line.

For more information, visit: mercerisland.gov/news