City Pipes Can't Take the Weather

Monday, Dec 14, 2009  |  Updated 11:39 AM PDT
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Water water everywhere

An underground pipe broke Saturday nigth in San Francisco for two reasons: old and cold.
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Repairs to a water main in San Francisco that broke, blasting  water onto city streets and creating a sinkhole Saturday night, have been  completed and water service is restored to all residents, a public utilities  spokesman said.

But the road on top of the pipe won't be open until sometime late Monday.
     
The water main break was reported at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at 10th  and Division streets in the city's South of Market neighborhood, and shut off  water service to residents in the immediate vicinity until about 3:30 p.m.  today, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission spokesman Tony Winnicker  said.
     
It took all night and most of the day to remove debris from where  the water main break occurred before crews were able to replace the water  main, he said.
   
 The pipe that broke was about 100 years old, according to  Winnicker, and he said the pipe's age combined with the cold weather likely  caused it to break.
     
"The oldest pipes are pretty vulnerable when it gets cold,"  Winnicker said. "The broken section will be investigated, but at this point  we are attributing it to age and recent cold weather."
     
A sinkhole that spread to about 20 feet by 15 feet on Division  Street in the area has prompted the closure of westbound Division Street  through the night, according to Winnicker.
     
Crews need to fill the sinkhole then plate it, and officials are  hoping to reopen that lane by the Monday evening commute, he said.
     
Four intersections in the area that had been previously closed  have since reopened, according to Winnicker.
    

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