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Sammamish Utility first to install earthquake early warning technology

Published on August 7, 2018

Image Credit: CC A Share-Alike 3.0: wikimedia commons: Jelson25

The Northeast Sammamish Water District is trying out earthquake early warning technology at a pumping station that sits on top of a half-million gallons of water.

Check the Earthquake Tracker

A simulation shows us what would happen if an earthquake were detected by the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.

“The earthquake has hit, it’s a 7.5 intensity and we have 15 seconds, and the pumps are shutting down and they are down with nine seconds,” said General Manager Laura Keough, reading the pump status board.

With the pumps shut down, water won’t be sent through pipes that might be broken in a strong quake.

“If all the pipes in the district break and we can’t get water to people’s houses, then they could at least come to this facility (to) fill up jugs and have drinking water.”

The early warning system also protects the people who maintain the pumps and reservoirs. When a strong earthquake is detected, an app on their smartphones sounds the alarm.

Developed in part at the University of Washington, the early warning system has eight pilot projects in the Pacific Northwest so far.


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Originally posted on MyNorthwest by KIRO 7 News Staff
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