Old pipe breaks, closes Grant Street in Berkeley; 40 customers without water

Bancroft Way at Grant Street at 11 a.m. after a water main break. Photo: Kelly Dorsey
Bancroft Way at Grant Street at 11 a.m. after a water main break. Photo: Kelly Dorsey

Dozens of central Berkeley residents around Grant Street and Bancroft Way have been dealing with a water main break since Friday morning.

Grant has been closed from Allston Way to Bancroft as crews work to fix the problem. Some lanes may be reopened as the work continues.

East Bay Municipal Utility District spokeswoman Abby Figueroa said customers called to report water in the street and lower-than-normal water pressure at 11 a.m.

EBMUD sent an investigator to the scene, who found the leak, and shut down water at 11:30 a.m.


Approximately 40 homes and businesses are without water service during the repair, Figueroa said.

She said a 12-inch cast iron pipe burst, causing the leak.

“It’s a pretty big pipe, which explains the amount of water,” she said. No estimate was available as far as how much water may have been lost as a result of the trouble.

Dean C. Smith of @abc7newsBayArea said resourceful neighbors were scooping buckets up from the water leak to care for plants. Smith shared this photograph with Berkeleyside. ABC7 is scheduled to have a report Friday night.

Figueroa said it usually takes workers about eight hours to repair this type of damage. Those in the area can expect work to be complete this evening, if all goes according to plan.

Breaks like this can happen due to the age of pipes, ground movement, soil conditions, and other factors. Figueroa said it’s not uncommon for cast iron pipes to break, as those are among the oldest in the system.


“It’s not a surprise with the cast iron pipes these days,” she said. “It’s just an old pipe that broke.”

Residents with questions can reach EBMUD at 866-403-2683.