Wednesday, May 25 , 2016, 2:43 pm | Partly Cloudy 69º




Water-Main Break Creates Mess, Disrupts Service

Cold weather may be to blame for failure that left some customers without water, officials say

By Tom Bolton, Noozhawk Executive Editor | @tombol | updated logo 11:50 a.m. |

Scroll to the bottom to see video from the scene.

A water-main break — possibly caused by the cold weather — created a muddy mess on Santa Barbara’s Eastside Monday, leaving some customers without water service.

City Public Works officials were notified shortly after 10 a.m. of the break at Milpas and Cota streets, and responding crews found a big mess at the intersection, said Cathy Taylor, water systems manager for the city.

Northbound traffic was being rerouted on the 500 and 600 blocks of Milpas, she said, adding that an unknown number of businesses and residences in the area were without water.

By late morning, the water flow was shut off, and crews were using heavy equipment to tear up the pavement and reach the damaged line for repairs.

“It’s probably the weather, to be honest with you,” Taylor said when asked the cause of the break. “We see a spike in main breaks in cold weather.”

Some areas of Santa Barbara recorded lows in the 20s Sunday night into Monday.

After the break, the city received numerous reports of dirty water from its customers, and crews were systematically opening fire hydrants to flush the lines, Taylor said.

That process was expected to last about two hours.

“When a pipe breaks, we usually get dirty water in the system,” senior water operator Anthony Trejo said.

Trejo and other Public Works water resource employees were on scene to find the main’s break and repair it.

A Sempra Energy employee was also present. No gas lines were damaged in the water main break or flooding, but he came to make sure water resource crews knew where the gas lines were located while they made their repairs.

The city hopes to have the water line repaired and service restored to all customers “later this afternoon,” Taylor said.

Nearby schools haven’t had their water shut off, but have reported dirty water, according to the Santa Barbara Unified School District. Facilities and Operations Director David Hetyonk is contacting Santa Barbara Junior High School and others to tell them to flush out their drinking fountains so they have usable water.

The district administration building also has rusty water in its pipes, communications director Barbara Keyani said.

Anyone with questions or problems regarding their water service can call the city at 805.564.5413.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli contributed to this report.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Milpas Street Water Main Break Causes Mess, Water Shutoffs from Giana Magnoli on Vimeo.




Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

 

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.