Water Main Break in Alamo Causes Flooding, Damage, Cuts Service to Dozens

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A water main break in Alamo early Friday morning caused one roadway to buckle, flooded an intersection and cut water to dozens of residents as crews scrambled to get it fixed.

Roughly 180 customers were without water after the 8-inch pipeline ruptured on Hemme Avenue at Danville Boulevard, according to the East Bay Municipal Utility District. The fire department received the first call at about 12:40 a.m.

Hemme Avenue was closed as crews worked to repair the 62-year-old pipe, which reportedly is made of asbestos concrete.

"It’s unclear at this time why this pipe burst," Tracie Morales with EBMUD said.

EBMUD said emergency repairs disrupted water service on the following streets: Hemme Avenue, Danville Boulevard, Ironwood Place, Corwin Drive, Barbee Lane, Los Alamos Court, Via Copla, Volz Court, Sonoma Way, Kemline Court, La Sonoma Court, La Sonoma Drive and Massoni Court.

Crews finally were able to shut off the water just before 10 a.m., after nine hours.

As of Friday afternoon, 180 customers were still without water. EBMUD said more could lose service as crews make repairs.

Some of EBMUD's 4,200 miles of water mains date back to the late 1800s and are failing. The utility has set aside $150 million over the next two years to try to speed up prevention efforts.

"So that we could tackle some of these areas where we need to replace aging pipelines and other facilities that really have come to the end of their cycle," Morales said.

Right now, EBMUD is replacing 20 miles of pipe per year and using leak detection technology to find problem spots. The utility is trying to replace pipes before they rupture.

"But again it’s just kind of a constant race," Morales said.

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