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Tuesday, 04 December 2018 16:07

Seattle, Suburbs Would Lose all Water Pressure Within 24 Hours of Catastrophic Earthquake, City Study Says

(TNS) - The ground would stop shaking. Then the water in the pipes would drain away.

As Anchorage grapples with the aftermath of Friday’s powerful earthquake, a new study says Seattle would lose all water pressure within 24 hours of a catastrophic quake and would need at least two months to entirely restore water service in the city. Suburbs served by Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), which commissioned the study, would also lose service – including Bothell, Woodinville, Kirkland, Redmond and Bellevue.

With Seattle facing 15 to 20 percent odds of a severe earthquake in the next 50 years, the study says the city should spend $850 million through 2075 to mitigate water-system risks posed by the “Big One,” playing catch-up to California cities that already have taken dramatic steps.

“For this very catastrophic earthquake, we’re looking at very significant impacts,” said Alex Chen, SPU’s water-planning director. The utility provides drinking water to 1.4 million people.