The pipe erupted sometime around 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday and spilled water along 28th Street between Castro and Diamond. Crews spent the next four hours working to locate the faulty pipe, shut off the water, and dig up the road to fix the damages.
By 9 p.m., the city had lost an estimated 20,000 gallons of water, says Tyrone Jue, spokesman for the PUC. To put that into context, the average American family uses about 400 gallons of water per day. The water waste occurred just two weeks after the PUC enforced a mandatory water restriction of 10 percent for those residents irrigating ornamental landscapes or turf with potable water.
"We know every drop counts," he says, "A top priority for any main break is always to stop the flow of water as quickly as possible to minimize water loss and property damage."
The PUC told reporters that the pipe could have been affected by the 6.1 magnitude earthquake that hit Napa Sunday morning. Or it could be that the 6-inch cast iron main, which was installed in 1927, had seen better days.
Jue assures us that the PUC is working hard to reduce the potential for future breaks through a "strong asset management program" coupled with an increase rate of pipe replacement.
"We have been slowly ramping up our to replace nearly 15 miles a year of San Francisco water and sewer lines," he says. "We are also closely coordinating with our city agencies and utilizes to reduce any potential construction impacts."
Until then, remember to shorten your showers.
That water pipe that busted open in Noe Valley two days ago not only left residents without H20 for seven hours, but it spilled roughly 20,000 gallons of precious water during California's mega drought.