70-year-old water main breaks in Oakland

May 18, 2009 5:06:11 PM PDT
Several dozen Oakland residents were without water Monday after a water main break caused flooding in the streets. It happened at 35th and Allendale Avenues.

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Crews were making good progress Monday morning as they spent hours digging and discovered the break in the pipe just before 11:00 a.m. They said the crack in the pipe is about 12 feet long and added that it could be the end of the day before residents in the neighborhood get to turn their faucets on.

Water was flowing onto 35th Avenue in Oakland but not through the faucets of homes in the Allendale neighborhood.

"No water. No nothing. My kid, my granddaughter can't go to the bathroom. Them too, they have to go to work," said Ian Saephan of Oakland. "No water. No nothing."

The break left more than 100 residents without running water, including William Larsen.

"We had to drive to San Leandro to take a shower," he said. "Because there was no water. I mean, I'm going to work. I showered," he said.

East Bay MUD worked since 2 a.m. to repair the break.

"It's very hard to get to this break. The pipe is about 70-years-old and we really haven't seen the pipe yet. Even as of now. We've been digging the whole time," said East Bay MUD spokesman Charles Hardy. We turned the water off of course. It was spilling at 500 gallons a minute for an hour."

One man who told ABC 7 he keeps bottled water in his garage said he went through two cases just on Monday morning. Other residents told ABC 7 that being without water was nuisance enough, but when it comes as a surprise it is even worse. Neighbors say they were never notified about the problem.

"Nobody's called my house. Nobody's called him, him, him, him, him," Larsen said pointing around the neighborhood. "We don't know."

Early Monday East Bay MUD said it could be 4 p.m. by the time they could get water back into the neighborhood, but by 11:00 they said that may have been optimistic. Crews finally repaired the pipe but said it wouldtake a few hours to flush it out. They said service should be restored by 7 p.m, Monday.

Officials said the likely cause of the break was the age of the pipe, about 70-years-old.

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