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98-Year-Old Water Main Bursts in Little Italy

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

A section of Little Italy is the latest area to feel the effects of San Diego's aging, failing water infrastructure. An ancient water main under Columbia street broke this morning. The story, from KPBS reporter Alan Ray.

The call came in about 6:45 this morning: an eight-inch cast iron water main failed, forcing an interruption of service on a two-block stretch of Columbia between Date and Fir.

Arian Collins at the San Diego Water Department says hundreds of customers have been shut off.

Collins : We have 27 service connections, but that doesn't encompass all the people, because there's at least one condominium and a couple of hotels in the area.

Collins says they'll investigate to determine the cause of the failure, but this pipe was -- like much of the rest of San Diego's water system -- very old.

Collins : According to our records, this pipe was placed in service in 1909. So it's a 98-year-old pipe and well past its prime.

Collins says the expected life of cast iron water pipe would be about 30 years. 

Crews are working to repair the breach now, but Collins says full water service in Little Italy won't be restored before this evening.

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