Water, Water Everywhere. Again

Sinkhole opens up in Bay Park

By Michelle Wayland and Gene Cubbison
|  Wednesday, Dec 28, 2011  |  Updated 12:15 PM PDT
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Large Sinkhole Opens Up

NBC San Diego

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Water, Water Everywhere. Again

More inconvenience and disruptions tonight, for Bay Park residents who were left without water after an early-morning water main break.

Large Sinkhole Opens Up

Water gushed down a residential street Tuesday morning.
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UPDATE: According to the city’s Water Utilities Department, the broken main was repaired and water service restored to the neighborhood by 9:30 last night. The city’s Streets Division will now be tasked to perform “more permanent repairs” to Shawnee Road, where the sinkhole was filled and covered with a temporary asphalt surface.

A section of one of San Diego's oldest water mains has given out, making it a dry, inconvenient morning for residents of a Bay Park neighborhood.

A large sinkhole opened up about 3.30 a.m. Tuesday morning near Shawnee Road and Baker Street after a water main break sent water gushing down the street.

About 30 residents are affected. Some found out when they tried to take showers or brush their teeth. Others, when they went out to get the paper and saw the lights and cameras of several television news crews.

The most common reaction was, "here we go again".

Neighbors say there was a water main break in the neighborhood just a few weeks ago.

“I think it was three or four weeks ago that we had the same situation, so I went ahead and figured out that I only had a few minutes left,” said resident Ron Simental.

He realized the water hadn’t been turned off just yet.

“I got my trailer filled up with water because last time it took most of the day,” said Simental.

At 2 p.m. water was back on, but shortly after at 3:15 p.m. water began leaking again. There's no new estimate to when the water will be restored.

Officials said they're working hard to fix the problem.

The water main is cast iron and over 60 years old. Residents say it began corroding and breaking earlier in this same neighborhood about two years ago.

Water Department officials say that's a common scenario, and it often happens in cold or wet weather.

There are still about 100 miles of cast iron in the city's network of water conduits, which totals more than 3,000 miles.

The cast iron is being replaced with PVC, but it's a slow expensive process which will add up into the hundreds of millions of dollars over time.

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