Modesto water division workers spent several hours Friday morning working to repair a break in an 8-inch steel water main in a neighborhood east of El Vista Avenue near Encina Avenue.
The city got the first report of the break about 4:15 a.m., said Ronnie Flood, a supervisor with the water division. A crew was on scene within half an hour, tearing up the asphalt to locate the break, he said.
A worker at Colfax Avenue and Meta Court said that about 8:30 a.m. the pump truck couldn’t keep up with the water pouring out, so the crew was working to isolate the break.
Flood said the water had to be kept flowing to a certain degree to avoid contamination. He said the crew hoped to have water service back on by 9:30 or 10 a.m. Homes left without water because of the break were limited to Colfax, Meta and Ada Street.
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The city has been replacing aging mains on the west side of El Vista and is scheduled to get to the east side, Flood said. The old steel pipes are part of the former Del Este Water Co. system, he said.
Much of the system runs in alleys, but in this case, the main runs up Colfax, Flood said.
This was about the sixth break in the 1952-era neighborhood in 15 years, said Meta Court resident Joe Culvahouse. “About eight years ago, water seeped under all the pavement – the streets and the sidewalks – and lifted them up. You literally could not get cars out of driveways.” The city had to repave the aging street after that, so in a way it was a blessing, he said.
Deke Farrow: 209-578-2327