A Stranger reporter tries listening and feeling the ground in Pioneer Square to detect settlement near an SPU monitoring station. >
Last month I tried feeling the ground in Pioneer Square to detect settlement. That's the SPU monitoring station near my feet. Kelly O

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There's a mystery afoot! This morning, Seattle Public Utilities sent out an emergency notice warning residents of Pioneer Square that they could have their water shut off. Workers would be investigating a possible leak in a water main on Main Street between First Avenue South and Third Avenue South, it read.

A possible leak? Would this have anything to do with the sinking going on in Pioneer Square, right by Bertha's rescue pit?

Andy Ryan, SPU spokesperson, said that the agency has learned new information since it sent out this morning's notice, and they're not even sure there is a leak. There won't be any emergency repair work—no shutting off water or anything—for now.

The reason SPU became alarmed in the first place is because of acoustic monitoring technology it installed last month in response to settlement in Pioneer Square. "We heard the noises yesterday," Ryan said. "A 20-inch water main is not something one takes lightly. If there is a leak, it could make a big mess. We continued to analyze the noises that we were hearing in the pipe, and we are trying to pinpoint where it's coming from, but we're not even positive there is a leak."

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SPU isn't going to open up a big hole in the ground without finding exactly where the noises are coming from.

"We're being very watchful of all the infrastructure in the area," Ryan said.

We are, too.

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