Downtown flooding explains why San Diego scrambles to replace its crumbling water pipeline-The San Diego Union-Tribune

2021-11-24 05:59:31 By : Mr. Jay Tang

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The broken water pipe on Sunday sprayed countless gallons of water into downtown San Diego as part of an outdated plumbing system that should have been replaced long ago.

City officials said on Monday that the underground pipe formed a large sinkhole on 11th Avenue and A Street. It has a history of 76 years and is made of cast iron. The second pipe that also burst on Sunday was made of reinforced concrete and flooded the northbound Interstate 5.

After two water pipes broke in downtown San Diego, the flooded highway remains closed

The turbulent water flow also caused the sidewalks of 11th Avenue and A Street to collapse

After a series of ruptures in recent years, the city has been steadily replacing its cast iron water pipes, some of which are more than 100 years old, using more durable polyvinyl chloride pipes, namely PVC. Since 2013, the city has replaced approximately 180 miles of pipelines.

"We will continue to do our best to replace the oldest pipes. We know that cast iron pipes often fail," Mayor Todd Gloria said at a press conference on Monday. Construction workers are repairing the broken ones. pipeline.

The city also has about 55 miles of cast iron pipelines, and officials estimate that the last part will be upgraded in 2025.

The city experienced 33 water pipe ruptures in 2020, down from 131 in 2010. In the past ten years, the city has experienced an average of nearly 80 major ruptures each year.

These incidents included pipe ruptures near Idaho Street and Polk Avenue in 2018, flooding of houses and businesses in North Park, and a series of ruptures in Mission Valley the previous year that resulted in a sinkhole on I-5, causing Hundreds of motorists were stranded for more than an hour.

Gloria said he supports investment in aging pipelines, but is also worried that it will increase San Diego's already high water costs. The city is preparing to cope with a sharp rise in water tariffs as it continues to establish a waste water recycling program called "Pure Water".

"These things are not free," he said on Monday. "This is always a balancing act. I am worried about what is needed to live in this city."

At around 3:30 pm on Sunday afternoon, the water pipe broke and flooded the street and at least one nearby business. The city closed the water source around 6:45 pm to prevent further damage.

Many residents have lost their tap water at home, including Andrew Hoffman who lives in Cortez.

The 59-year-old said: "I was texting with my neighbors, and suddenly everyone said,'I'm short of water'."

The city distributes bottled water and posts water carts in the area.

"It's a question,'Has the infrastructure kept up?' I don't know who is in charge, but it's obviously not," Hoffman said on Monday when a truck near the construction site was filled with a plastic can.

According to the city, by around 7pm, most of the homes and businesses in the city centre had their tap water restored. Some residents report that water is available as early as 4 pm. It is not clear exactly how many people were affected.

Boiling water notices were issued to nine addresses, including: 545 Laurel St., 1210 11th Ave., 1280 12th Ave., 1011 and 1110 A St., and 2302, 2350, 2395 and 2402 Sixth Ave.

Soon after the city shut down the water supply to the broken pipe in the city center, a second water pipe burst near Interstate 163 and Interstate I-5.

Officials said that the interruption did not affect any water customers. However, it did flood the northbound lane of I-5 downtown, which remained closed as of Monday night.

Officials said that an investigation will be conducted to determine the exact cause of the outage and whether they are connected.

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