San Diego

200 Homes Without Water as Crews Repair Sinkhole in Otay Ranch Neighborhood

The Otay Water District says it was a 12-inch PVC water main that broke and sent water, mud and rocks rushing down the street.

A sinkhole appeared early Tuesday following a water main break in the Otay Ranch area of Chula Vista. Nearly 200 homes were without water while crews repaired the damage.

The first report occurred at approximately 3 a.m. at Magdalena Avenue and E. Palomar Street. The neighborhood is south of Olympic Parkway and west of the toll road section of State Route 125.

The Otay Water District said it was a 12-inch PVC water main that broke and sent water, mud and rocks rushing down the street. The pipe had been installed in 2005.

"We woke up this morning around 6:30 and my wife was gonna go to work. She was about to take a shower and there was no water," resident Luis Barrios said.

One neighbor said there was a car parked in the area of the sinkhole.

“It's kind of concerning beccause it could be my car there. I've parked there before,” said Carlos Jasso.

Repair crews found the car’s owner and had them move the vehicle before the sinkhole opened up.

For many people it was a morning of inconvenience.

"We're running late, we couldn't brush our teeth, well, luckily I had a water bottle so he could brush his teeth for school and that's about it," said resident Luz Clayton.

Crews re-routed water from other water mains to give people back their service while they made repairs.

As of 7 p.m. Tuesday night, the water main break was flushed and fixed, a spokesperson for the Otay Water District said. The sinkhole was also blocked off for the night so crews could return Wednesday morning to fill it up.

Often, it's the old cast iron pipes breaking but in this case, a PVC pipe in a newer neighborhood broke open and saturated the ground.

Neighbors told us there was another water main break just last week so they're definitely concerned about what's happening in the neighborhood. 

There was another water main break last Friday but it wasn't this big, residents said.

The Otay Water District confirmed that there was a break of an 8-inch pipe nearby. Officials were working on determining the cause and how the two breaks might be related.

Both pipes were installed in 2005.

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