‘Brown water’ advisory for tribal housing neighborhoods

How to get your clear water back on tap

The Suquamish Tribe maintains a well that provides water to homes in several tribal housing neighborhoods, as well as the Marion Forsman-Boushie Early Learning Center, Family & Friends Center, Fitness Center, and Ball Field sprinkler system. The water is treated with chlorine to protect public health.

When the water runs with a brownish tint it usually means water flow has been briefly disturbed, lifting up water sediment. Traces of manganese, a naturally occurring metal in the sediment, causes the brown hue. The water clears when the sediment settles.

Manganese does not pose a threat to public health.

Still, we know it doesn’t look good. That’s why the Suquamish Water Utility Program periodically flushes the mains to minimize these occurrences. However, due to increased water usage during summer months, including use of the ball field’s sprinklers and activated fire hydrants, brown water can still show up.

Clearing it out: Dos and Don’ts

If brown water occurs at your location, there are some things you can do to help clear it out. Here are some dos & don’ts to keep in mind:

Do run your water on cold – You can speed this by up by also flushing toilets and running spigots. If the water does not clear after a few minutes, turn off water, wait an hour, and then try again.

Don’t run hot water – Running hot water will empty clear water from your hot water tank and fill it with discolored water.

Don’t do laundry – Manganese-tinted water can stain clothes, so wait until it clears before starting your next load.

If you have run cold water a few times and it still does not clear, please contact our staff for additional assistance:

James Old Coyote, Water Utility Operator (360) 394-8509
William Lawrence, Water Utility Manager (360) 394-8506