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Water Line Break May Affect Water at Some Tacoma Food Service Establishments

Communications Specialist Steve Metcalf
by Steve Metcalf01/04/2019 1:53 p.m.
Updated: 01/07/2019

UPDATE: Tacoma Water told us Monday morning it doesn't expect any more problems for its customers.  Metro Parks is repairing the system.

ORIGINAL POST: The potentially affected area includes an estimated 50 food service establishments. Any food service establishments will need to take steps if they notice water discoloration.

On Jan. 4, Tacoma Water reported a large water main break. This happened in a private water system at Point Defiance Park. The break may affect Tacoma Water customers north of North 35th Street and west of North Verde Street on the city’s north end. The break caused large flow increases and reversals throughout the north end of the Tacoma Water system. Customers report the break caused water quality issues—dirty water.

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department wants food service establishments to take these steps during this brown water advisory event:

  • Suspend dishwashing and produce washing activities until the water runs clear. 
  • Turn off all ice machines, soda machines, espresso machines, and other equipment that draws water during use. 

After crews repair the break:

  • Run all faucets for 5-10 minutes until the water runs clear
  • Discard all ice in the ice machine. Make another batch and discard the ice.
  • Flush lines that carry water – soda machines, espresso machines, and other equipment.
  • Drain and refill the dishwasher.

Follow this guidance to provide your customers with the best dining experience and to protect your equipment.

Food service establishments should call (253) 798-6460 or email with any questions.

  1. Updated: 01/07/2019
Communications Specialist Steve Metcalf

by Steve Metcalf

Steve helps share timely and relevant public health information.


We invite your comments but will delete those with profanity, personal attacks, derogatory statements, ads or promotional material. Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department does not provide personal medical advice; please contact your health care provider.