South City Pipeline Burst Remains Mystery

Between 1 and 2 million gallons of water poured into the neighborhood before the water was totally shut off

Monday, Nov 28, 2011  |  Updated 5:44 PM PDT
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This is some of the raw video from last week's water works.

This is some of the raw video from last week's water works.

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Utility officials were continuing to investigate what caused  a 60-inch water main to burst in South San Francisco on Friday, sending more  than a million gallons of water down streets and into homes.

A leak was first detected where a 12-inch water supply pipeline  connected to a 60-inch pipeline on Elm Street and Park Way at about 9:45  a.m., San Francisco Public Utilities Commission manager of water supply David  Briggs said today.

Some time between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., what was first a small  leak turned into a geyser shooting water 60 feet into the air, Briggs said.

Emergency responders initially couldn't get within 20 feet of the  rupture because of the amount of water gushing from the break, he said.

As many as a dozen homes, 10 vehicles, sections of surrounding  sidewalk and public and private landscaping were damaged.

The SFPUC was putting every available resource toward assessing  the damage and immediately processing claims from private citizens and the  city of South San Francisco, Briggs said.

No one was injured, and residents have been allowed back into  their homes.

The section of pipe that burst had recently been installed as part  of the SFPUC's $4.6 billion Water System Improvement Program, which aims to  upgrade and seismically retrofit the Hetch Hetchy water system.

The pipeline had been put back into service about two weeks ago,  Briggs said.

SFPUC investigators were still working to determine what caused  the pipeline to burst, which could take another two or three days.
 

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