Water main break floods streets in Hillcrest

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SAN DIEGO — A 106-year-old water main ruptured underneath a busy Hillcrest thoroughfare Tuesday afternoon, flooding the street and adjacent businesses.

The failed cast-iron pipe began inundating the 3600 block of Fifth Avenue about 3 p.m. Witnesses reported that the roadway was soon beginning to cave in, creating a sinkhole.

Main-BreakPolice officers closed a stretch of the street and sections of nearby roads while utility crews were en route to halt the flooding.

Repair workers had the overflow under control by shortly after 4 p.m., said Arian Collins, a spokesman for the San Diego Water Department.

The mishap flooded some nearby commercial structures, forced the closure of two blocks of Fifth Avenue and left five blocks of the north-south boulevard without functional plumbing, according to Collins.

Full repairs to the 20-inch-diameter water main — installed in 1907 — and the roadway were expected to be complete sometime Wednesday afternoon, he said.


  • charlie

    There happens to be a lot of water main breaks. typically they start as small leaks then major ruptures, then collapsed roadway and sinkholes. anybody thought of having a leak detection sensor along the length of the pipe sections. typically this would be a cable with two conductors that would short when soaking wet.

    back east i have seen news report of 300 year old pipes being replaced.

    different pipe type may require different methods. I'm just saying that gradual implementation of some kind of sensor to indicate pipe integrity might reduce the chaos.

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