Water Main Break Sabotages Plans for Thousands of Visitors

A water main break in downtown San Diego Wednesday left two hotels without water,  putting a damper on some visitors’ plans.

The San Diego City Water Department was called to the Marriott and the Hyatt on Harbor Drive around noon. A construction crew at the Marriott Marquis Hotel accidentally hit a 12-inch water main leaving thousands of hotel visitors without water for about five hours.

Crews fully finished repairs by 8 p.m.

The main break came at perhaps the worst time. The two hotels impacted were at capacity, with 1,400 customers in the Marriot’s North Tower and another 3,000 guests at the Hyatt.

Some lodgers were redirected to neighboring hotels while others waited five hours for the water and power to come back on.

Visitors had heard about the drought in California, but were not expecting this afternoon without water at their hotels.

“It's been a little inconvenient, absolutely,” Maine Ship Builder Ron Holt told NBC 7.

Holt and Randy Jackson got vouchers for a night's stay at the Hilton instead of room keys during check-in at the Marriott Marquis amid the main break incident.

“We were very surprised to see all the construction crews,” Holt said.

They lost half a day of work moving from one hotel to the other.

“They just told us that our rooms were not available. That they had an unfortunate break with no water or electricity,” Jackson said.

Business traveler Ray Garcia was comped a room at the Embassy Suites down the street.

“They gave me a room with a corner view in downtown San Diego so what else could you ask for?” Garcia said.

He turned the inconvenience into incentive.

“Complimentary breakfast, complimentary hors d'oeuvres at Happy Hour. On top that, they gave me 15,000 extra Marriott reward points. It was a win deal,” Garcia said.

Site Managers from Clark construction said the vibration of their heavy equipment caused a 12-inch water main to burst.

The breech flooded the site and part of Harbor Drive.

The Marriott Marquis, the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, and a portion of Seaport Village shopping center were dry from noon to 5 p.m.

Visitors were breathing easier once water was restored.

“It's an accident. I understand and accidents do happen,” Garcia said.

For the drought-conscious, the breech spilled thousands of gallons of water. The exact amount is not yet calculated.

A city spokesperson says while no one wants to waste it, thousands of gallons is a drop in the bucket in a city that uses 200 million gallons per day.

Clark Construction is on the hook for the water and repair costs.

Contact Us