EBMUD: Berkeley water leak repairs will cause outage

Water leak caused by broken gate valve on EBMUD Dwight and Fulton. Photo: Ted Friedman
Water leak caused by broken gate valve on EBMUD Dwight and Fulton. Photo taken on Saturday Aug. 27: Ted Friedman

EBMUD says it will repair a water leak today at Fulton Street and Dwight Way in Berkeley that started Friday evening. The repair work will cause some customers in the area to be without water, according to EBMUD spokeswoman Tracie Morales. She could not confirm how many will be affected, but they will be notified.

The leak was caused by a broken gate valve, according to Morales. The gate valve starts and stops the flow of water through a pipe, she said.

Water was escaping the pipe and covering the street throughout the weekend and into Tuesday. On Saturday, Berkeleyside contributing photographer David Yee described the water as “bubbling out” of a small, red cover in the street. “The water pressure isn’t so strong that it’s gushing into the air or anything, just creating a pond about a half-block long in either direction of the intersection.” On Sunday Yee said EBMUD had set up a dam of sorts Saturday with sandbags or something similar “so that the water leaking out of the red cover flows into a storm drain instead of flooding the intersection.” On Monday afternoon, Yee said there were “gallons and gallons flowing straight down the storm drain.”

Water leak caused by broken gate valve on EBMUD Dwight and Fulton. Photo: Ted Friedman
The Village Garden apartment complex at Dwight and Fulton. Photo, taken on Saturday Aug. 27: Ted Friedman

The break coincided with pipeline replacement work being carried out by EBMUD on Shattuck Avenue and Dwight Way. Morales could not confirm the two were connected. “We were making a repair at Shattuck and Dwight Friday evening. That’s when we became aware that a broken gate valve needed to be repaired,” she said. “It’s possible they are connected.”


Some observers wondered if the water leak was in some way linked to the newly constructed Garden Village apartment complex that is on the intersection. Berkeleyside contacted the developer, Nautilus Group, who confirmed it was not related to the building. Nautilus representative Jason Laub said on Monday the leak had being going for nearly a week. He said he had been calling EBMUD every day. “Every time I call they say, yeah we’re aware of it.”  He added that he had seen an EBMUD worker on the site one time last week “wiggling the valve” and that it had stopped leaking water, but only temporarily.

New residents were seen moving into the new apartments over the weekend. The apartments were built with modular units and will feature a rooftop urban farm.

Before the valve gate fix can be made on Fulton and Dwight EBMUD needs to take precautionary measures and notify customers in the area.

EBMUD has asked Underground Service Alert (USA) to create lines in the street called utility markers to indicate the location of gas, power and telecommunications lines so EBMUD is aware to work around them. “We call them before we do any type of digging,” Morales said.

Water leak caused by broken gate valve on EBMUD Dwight and Fulton. Photo: Ted Friedman
Water leak caused by broken gate valve on EBMUD Dwight and Fulton. Photo taken on Saturday Aug. 27: Ted Friedman
Water from a water leak is diverted to flow into a storm drain at Dwight Way and Fulton Street, in Berkeley, on Monday, Aug. 29, 2016. Photo: David Yee ©2016
Water from a water leak is diverted to flow into a storm drain at Dwight Way and Fulton Street, in Berkeley, on Monday, Aug. 29, 2016. Photo: David Yee ©2016

Follow Berkeleyside on Twitter and Facebook or get the latest news in your inbox with Berkeleyside’s Daily Briefing. Email us at tips@berkeleyside.com. Keep Berkeleyside running and support independent local journalism by becoming a member.