Nearly 2-million gallons lost in water main break


REDDING, Calif. - A water main broke in Redding Friday morning that caused streets and homes to flood.

City employees worked throughout the day and night to get it fixed, but the process to get residents back in their homes could take nearly two months.

A key 18-inch transmission main blew around 6:00 a.m. at the intersection of Shasta Street and Magnolia Avenue, west of downtown.

The Department of Public Works estimated that roughly one and a half million to two million gallons of water were lost. That is more than two Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of water.

The pipe is used to send water from one part of the city to another. This main connects the Foothill Water Treatment Plant to the Enterprise area of Redding.

Nearly four blocks of the surrounding residential area was without water and electrical service for most of the day. Services were restored around 3:30 p.m.

City crews had to tear up the intersection.

"This isn't uncommon when the weather finally turns wet because the ground gets saturated and any weak points are allowed to move because the grounds a little bit softer," said Asst. Public Works Director Jon McClain.

But McClain said this is not normal wear and tear.

"This is the result of aging infrastructure and this is a significant - this is a problem," said McClain. "This one's a bad break."

McClain said they have programs where they spend about a million dollars a year to replace the infrastructure downtown. But he said, unfortunately, they cannot catch all of them before they break.

There was significant flooding to several residents at a nearby apartment complex. The efforts on solving that issue can be extensive and costly.

"I have two vendors working on doing the clean up and they will itemize all of the contents that was damaged," said Redding Risk Manager Chris Carmona. "They will take in and restore what items and salvage what items they can. Then we will work up work orders on what type of repairs need to be done after the fact. At this point we have no idea [of the cost]."

With all that needs to be done, Carmona told KRCR News Channel 7 they are prepared for four to eight weeks of work.

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