67-year-old pipeline breaks in Rancho Santa Fe

RANCHO SANTA FE – Early Tuesday morning an aged water main pipeline on Lago Linda Lane and the nearest cross street of Avenida de Acacia erupted sending an unknown amount of water into the streets and into some nearby homes. 

The Santa Fe Irrigation District responded to the call and had the water shut off in about 40 minutes from the time they were notified, according to Jessica Parks, public information officer/management analyst with the Santa Fe Irrigation District.

Parks described the water main as an 8-inch, ACP (Asbestos Concrete Pipe) pipeline – a type of pipe that the district no longer uses.

The pipeline was put in place in 1946 prior to the homes in the area being built, she explained. “It’s not in the public right-of-way. It’s actually a pipeline that travels through the easements of the private properties.”

Those pipelines are expected to have a lifetime of about 75 years.

The most recent water main inspections came in 2009, though because of the pipeline’s location going under private property, and because the stretch of pipeline in question was in an area where they haven’t had many failures, it wasn’t inspected

The water district does have an asset management plan in place and they do look at the pipes that do need to be replaced, she added.

“We will look at this after the fact and see if there’s anything else that we need to do within that area,” Parks said.

Crews repaired a 5-foot section of the pipeline and they’ll assess what, if anything else will need to be done with the pipeline. As of 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, water was restored to the six homes that were without water due to the shutoff.

At this time, there haven’t been any estimates of damage, but the water district is aware of three homes that have sustained water damage.

She said their crews and staff have been working with those homeowners.

There were no external causes for the pipeline to break. “We believe that this was just stress on the pipe from roots and the weather,” Parks said.

The Santa Fe Irrigation District maintains 150 miles of pipeline, which includes all of their service area that stretches into Solana Beach. Of those 150 miles, 80 percent of pipeline is of the ACP variety. The remaining 20 percent is of the PVC variety.

 

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