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Seattle Public Utilities

We now know why Seattle's new utility billing system took so long and cost so much to launch.

The new billing system for Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities came in $43 million over budget and was nearly a year late when it went online in 2016.

The City of Seattle says this homeless camp is a public health and safety hazard.
KUOW Photo/Kate Walters

Seattle is starting a pilot program to help decrease litter on city streets.

Part of that program will target trash generated by homeless camps. Officials are hiring someone to head up the pilot program.


From the outside, the North Transfer Station looks more like a community center than a dump.
Play Creation

There's an unlikely new place to work out in the Fremont-Wallingford area: the garbage dump.

The city of Seattle just opened a new garbage transfer station near Gas Works Park, after the old one closed two years ago. Neighbors wanted it to reopen only if it came with community benefits - and that's what they got.

SPU reports that residents are confusing bags made out of recycled materials with bags that can be used for composting.
Courtesy of Seattle Public Utilities

Seattleites, you have been composting wrong.

Seattle Public Utilities says people often put produce bags in the compost bin, but not all of those bags are biodegradable. That messes up the city's composting machines, which are costly to fix. 

A new Seattle City Council plan would give thousands more people a discount on utilities. Two bills to do that were advanced at the committee level on Tuesday.

Currently, people who live in federally subsidized housing are excluded from Seattle's Utility Discount Program (UDP). The legislation would change that and automatically enroll them for discounts.

Utility crews in Seattle and Tacoma are on the hunt for lead goosenecks.


Screenshot of the water service map.
Seattle Public Utilities

Seattle Public Utilities staff explained their advice for residents to the Seattle City Council on Monday.

Here are the takeaways:

What's the problem? Is Seattle's drinking water safe?

File Photo of an old water fountain.
Flickr Photo/Paul Domenick (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/dqusC4

Utility officials in Seattle say residents should turn on the faucet for a few minutes if the water hasn't run for six hours. The precaution comes after high levels of lead were found in water lines connected to four Tacoma homes.

Flickr Photo/ Thilo M. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)/HTTP://BIT.LY/1SBLFKZ

Most cities want to control their own destiny. Shoreline, just north of Seattle, is no exception. But now a deal it hoped would help distinguish it from Seattle has fallen apart.

Does this orange peel belong in the trash, recycling or compost?
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

It probably comes as little surprise that Seattle gets an A for recycling.

Seventy percent of all our trash ends up in compost or recycling; just 30 percent goes to the landfill.

Flickr Photo/Seattle Municipal Archives

Customers of Seattle City Light are likely to see an increase in their bills later this year.

The utility is facing lower than expected revenues, and that could mean an automatic 3 percent surcharge for customers.

Possible Rate Hikes For Seattle Public Utilities Customers

Feb 6, 2014
Flickr Photo/Joe Shlabotnik

Steve Scher talks with Ray Hoffman, director of Seattle Public Utilities, about the possible rate hikes for Seattle residents. SPU is hosting four public meetings to collect comments from the community.

Seattle Department of Planning and Development

David Hyde spoke with Publicola's Erica C. Barnett about microhousing, the debate over a possible Seattle City Light surcharge, and other issues facing the city.

KUOW Photo/Derek Wang

Seattle trash pickup could be reduced to every other week by 2015 if the Seattle City Council votes on Monday to keep that option on the table for the next year.

If the action passes as expected, biweekly service won’t be definite, however: Mayor-elect Ed Murray and  council members will still need to pass the legislation early next year.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

A large water pipe next to the University Village mall, just east of the University of Washington, erupted Tuesday afternoon, shooting a 20-foot geyser into the air and shutting down traffic at the start of rush hour.

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