Crews working to repair ruptured SF water main


SFPUC Crews are still working to repair an old 12 inch watermain that broke in the North Beach neighborhood on Filbert Street near Mason Street at about 3 a.m.

The cast-iron pipe that broke was installed in 1935. The leak was isolated, but SFPUC officials said at 9 a.m. that repairs were expected to last several more hours and will require the closure of a portion of Filbert Street, which became a rushing river overnight.

By 11 a.m. crews were still moving fast to close off the large water pipe. Some of the runoff poured right into Anthony Kwang's laundromat, causing a big mess.

Kwang and nearby residents now have their water back after a brief interruption.

The SFPUC says the 85-year-old cast iron pipe likely ruptured due to old age, and cold weather.

"We do have sometimes more main breaks when it is cold, just due to that cold factor. We don't have any other breaks occurring in the City at this time to my knowledge," said Alison Kastama of the SFPUC.

The Mason Street cable car line is not running until the tracks can be inspected for any debris from the broken water pipe. Buses are taking passengers around the affected area. Crews have said that everything looks good on the Mason Street line at Filbert Street. Cable cars should be back up and running by 12 p.m.

There are 1,200 miles of water pipe in San Francisco and about 10 miles of them get replaced every year.

Officials expect the watermain will be fixed by this afternoon.

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