Infrastructure Local News Water 

Update: Boulder Creek Water Main Break

The San Lorenzo Valley Water District is working on multiple water main joint failures in downtown Boulder Creek. According to Garrett, a supervisor on site, the initial break occurred at Highway 9 and Lomond Street, near the SLVWD facilities. Garrett said, “It’s an emergency because the water is off.” Approximately 191 customers in Boulder Creek are affected in the following neighborhoods: Azalea Ave, Big Basin Way, Boulder St, Harmon St, Hazel Ave, Hillside Terrace, Laurel St, Lomond St, Oak St, Pine St, Redwood Ave, and parts of Highway 9.

Crews have been installing new water pipelines throughout the San Lorenzo Valley as part of ongoing scheduled SLVWD Capital Improvement Projects. According to the SLVWD, “The Lyon & Big Steel Zone Pipeline Improvement Project replaces 12,000 feet of undersized water main, starting from Lyon Tank, located off Madrone Drive in Boulder Creek. The new pipeline will run down Highway 236 to Boulder Creek, where it will follow Lomond Street to Irwin Way, where it will connect to the District’s backbone water distribution main.”

Garrett explained that the new pipe must be tied into existing systems, but while doing so, pressure changes in the system can cause other joints along the water main to fail. “The main HUD pipeline, that’s the one that we’re tying into with new 12” pipe,” Garret said. The 12-inch pipeline is made of iron and is expected to be a long-term solution for improving flow from one end of the San Lorenzo Valley to the other for firefighting and customer use. Garrett continued, “You have to expose the original pipe to tie in, and while exposing the old pipe there was a failure.” According to the District, “The new pipeline will run down Highway 236 to Boulder Creek, where it will follow Lomond Street to Irwin Way, where it will connect to the District’s backbone water distribution main.

Crews Work to Repair Multiple Failed Waterpipe in Boulder Creek

The failures occurred on Wednesday morning, April 17, affecting both Boulder Creek and Brookdale. Crews have opened the pavement on Lomond Street and Highway 9 to make repairs, missing a Thursday evening deadline and working overnight into Friday, April 19. Garret said, “The initial thought was let’s just repair the old pipe to get back in water, so the District staff repaired the pipe. Then the failure happened in a different location in the same general location, so now we have to open up Highway 9 down there to deal with the additional failures. So what we’re going to do is tie in to the brand new pipe and remove the old failed pipe entirely.”

Crews continue to work to restore water. They had hoped to have the situation under control on Wednesday. A post on the SLVWD website estimates restoration by 5:00 pm Thursday, April 18. In the meantime, customers who are without water can fill up at the District’s operations building in downtown Boulder Creek, 13057 Highway 9. Once water is restored, run the tap for 1-2 minutes to release any trapped air or sediment. Those who received a “boil notice” are advised to follow the procedures listed.

Visit the SLVWD website for more information.

Photos in downtown Boulder Creek by Julie Horner

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