Water main break causes brown water in Tacoma



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Posted on January 24, 2012 at 8:12 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 24 at 10:22 AM

TACOMA, Wash. -- After working through the night, Tacoma Public Utilities crews fixed a broken water main in the city's west end, but repairs were still underway on the road where it happened Monday.

Tacoma Public Utilities reported roughly 30 homes were affected by the water main break which occurred around 9 p.m. on Pearl at North 50th Street.
Richard Metcalf lives nearby and noticed there was a problem when he turned on his faucet and saw the water.
"All of a sudden it started coming out dark and stayed dark. It wasn't too pleasant. We knew something was wrong," said Metcalf.
In addition to brown water, Tacoma Public Utilities customers reported low water pressure. When a water main breaks, silt that normally rests in pipes is jostled by the rush of water, causing it to enter pipes that lead to people's homes and businesses, according to TPU.

On the utility company's website, customers are warned that if their water looks discolored, don't drink it. Also do not attempt to run any hot water or a filtration system.

Metcalf said by Tuesday morning the water was clear again.
"I'm impressed they got it fixed that quick. As bad as it was, it wasn't that bad of an inconvenience for us. I don't know about people down the line," said Metcalf.

Utility crews worked through the night. By early Tuesday morning, the water main was fixed, but road repairs continued. For now, Pearl is closed between North 49th Street and North 51st Street. TPU said it should re-open by late morning.