Water main break leads to major outage in West Berkeley

The outage includes water service to all city fire hydrants, the Berkeley Fire Department said.

Water main break leads to major outage in West Berkeley
EMBUD is working to repair a major water main break in Berkeley on Sunday, July 7, 2024. Heidi Sachs

East Bay MUD customers in West Berkeley have been without water since Sunday morning due to a major water main break near the freeway, authorities report.

Emergency repairs are underway, with water restoration estimated for 1-2 a.m., an EBMUD spokesman said.

No information was available as of publication time regarding what caused the water main break, which was reported near Frontage Road and I-80 at about 8:15 a.m.

Authorities said EBMUD had been on site all day working to repair the damage and had brought in heavy machinery to access the affected pipes.

"This break has necessitated the shutdown of the main line that serves the Waterfront area, including the Marina, Double Tree Hotel, multiple restaurants, Adventure Playground, public restrooms, Tom Bates Sports Fields, and GG Fields," the city manager advised council members in an email Sunday morning.

"We are in the process of notifying local businesses, liveaboards, and Waterfront users," the city manager said. "All public and Marina restrooms are being closed, and the City is working to provide portable toilets and handwashing stations on-site."

The outage includes water service to all city fire hydrants, the Berkeley Fire Department said.

As a result, BFD, "is on fire watch," the city manager said in her email. "In the event of a fire at any of these locations, BFD will automatically dispatch a second alarm, doubling the resources to shuttle water from hydrants on the other side of the freeway."

Sun Kwong Sze, an East Bay MUD spokesman, said the cause of the water main break remained under investigation.

He said crews were working to pump out the water, which had flooded a field near the Eastshore Freeway.

Because the water had flooded the field, traffic impacts were limited and no road closures were reported, he said.

Once the pumping is complete, crews will excavate the area to access and repair the 12-inch pipe that broke.

Update, Monday, July 8: As of today, EBMUD's outage map says water service is now expected to be restored by 6 p.m.

Update, Monday, July 8, 7:55 p.m. According to the EBMUD outage map, "Water restoration is estimated for 12:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 9, 2024."

Find more alerts and updates on the EBMUD outage map.

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