News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Two reports of exploding toilet bowls in the neighborhood – what's that about?

August 16th, 2013 · 15 Comments

Just now we received the second report of what, for lack of a better headline term, we’ll call exploding toilets.

We live just off Roosevelt Way Northeast on Northeast 94th Street and noticed when we returned from going out to dinner last night that both toilets (one upstairs and one downstairs) had, for lack of a better term, blasted the toilet bowl water out and onto the floor. We’ve no idea what could have caused this apart from a serious back pressure source somewhere in the city system. Anyone else reported such an event?

Yes. On Thursday we received this report:

Please let the other Maple Leaf neighbors know what happened to us when the Seattle Public Utilities vacuum truck was on our street this morning (Northeast 92nd Street).

They blasted air into the sewers with such force that water shot up from the toilets and shower drains, on every floor from the basement to the second floor.

Fortunately, all our toilet lids were in the closed position. We still had puddles around the toilets, but it would have been much worse if the lids had been up. So, if you see water on your toilet seat or lid, or around the toilet, you may want to get out a disinfectant because it’s likely that it’s sewer water courtesy of a blast from the same truck.

We have an email into Seattle Public Utilities, but probably won’t hear back until Monday. Both incidents occurred on Thursday, Aug. 16.

Does this sound familiar to other neighbors?

We are vaguely aware that “snorkel trucks” are used to clear leaves and other debris from storm drains. We can also remember an incident a couple decades ago when the toilets in the downtown King County Courthouse suddenly behaved in exactly this fashion. (Further, we think it was somehow construction related.)

Tags: , , , Uncategorized