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Water for some San Luis Obispo residents discolored after water line break

water line break.jpg
Posted at 6:27 PM, Aug 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-16 22:28:02-04

Several San Luis Obispo residents woke up to discolored water coming from their tap after an 11-inch water main break was repaired late Monday night.

The water main break was located off of Ramona Drive and Broad Street.

“We do see most years around 10 water main breaks that are just related to aging infrastructure,” said City of San Luis Obispo Utilities Deputy Director Mychal Boerman. “This one was from a contractor who was doing some work and unfortunately caught a service line.”

The water main break took place at 5 p.m. Monday.

“It's back in service and fully functional at this point in time,” Boerman said Tuesday.

The break released more than 10,000 gallons of water and sewage before being repaired at midnight by construction workers.

“Last night was the first time that I had noticed that [construction workers] were still going on, even when I was getting ready for bed,” said Katherine Gibson, a San Luis Obispo resident. “I must have gotten about, I want to say, roughly four hours of sleep.”

“Nothing is out of the ordinary until I saw our water was brown,” said Spencer Grant, a San Luis Obispo resident.

Neighbors in the area noticed their water was discolored late Monday and into Tuesday morning.

“I didn't think that there was any problem with our water until much later in the evening,” Gibson said. “I went to go fill my Brita water and I first noticed a discoloration and I decided I need to put my glasses on.”

“Our friend, Ella, who's visiting, came out with a glass of water and is like, 'this is what the water looks like?'” Grant said.

“That discoloration is generally rust and circulation that we see on these old cast iron water mains that gets stirred up from that sudden increase in flow,” Boerman explained.

Residents say it has happened in this neighborhood before.

“We saw it change a couple of weeks ago and it was very brown,” said Larry Salas, a San Luis Obispo resident. “At about an hour or so, it went away.”

Despite the initial concern by neighbors, the water returned back to normal Tuesday morning.

“We were going through all like the water faucets in the house and the showers to see if the whole house had brown water,” Grant said.

“We didn't notice anything different this morning,” Gibson said.

“It's not visually appealing, but there are no health risks to drinking that water,” Boerman said.