Oakland Responds To Shelterwood Water Main

East Bay MUD fixed the main.  The main broke.  Repeat.

The water main on Shelterwood Drive has broken many times over the past few years, as reported here back in June 2009 and June 2010.  We even lost interest reporting on the breaks, though they were certainly disruptive for those neighbors.

Finally, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan reports there will be a permanent fix:

EBMUD Bumps Up Fix of Old Water Main on Shelterwood: After a water main on Shelterwood Road off of Shepherd Canyon broke for the 5th time, causing headaches for residents, EBMUD announced that it is moving up plans for a permanent replacement from May to the end of this month.

“EBMUD manages over 4000 miles of pipeline and we budget 7 to 15 miles of replacement a year. Replacement criteria for aging pipes are based on a formula that takes into account age and breaks. Once a pipeline gets into a queue for replacement, the new pipeline has to be designed before the old one can be replaced. Staffing and resources for both design and replacement are an ongoing challenge and EBMUD must constantly revise priorities,” explained Michelle Blackwell, Community Affairs Representative.

We–and the residents of Shelterwood–thank EBMUD for acting quickly on this.

Yes, Shelterwood’s made the big time.  It’s about time.

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Same Water Main Breaks Again

There’s something unnerving about a water main break.  And when it happens again, almost a year later, you do have to wonder about repairs around here.  This morning, Shelterwood residents experienced their second break!

Montclarion Jennifer Rich provided her eyewitness report:

Just wanted to let neighbors know of the water main break (again!) on Shelterwood Drive and of the road closed until massive hole is repaired (again).  Use alternate route.

Luckily this time neighbors were able to show responders where to shut the line down before emptying out the water tank as they did last year (3 hours worth of rushing water because they couldn’t find the shut down location), so this side of the hill should be fine for water (other than the two homes impacted by the main closure).

At least this go-around, the Shelterwood break resulted in fewer downstream problems.  Residents were more knowledgeable and coordinated with Oakland Public Works, who got things under control more quickly.  Our emergency workers responded and resolved the crisis at hand.

However this repeat break feels vaguely familiar.  Do you remember the annual road flooding in Shepherd Canyon, until the old stream culverts were eventually replaced?  This time, we’re sure that our city can’t afford to investigate or fix any “root causes” of the Shelterwood break.

We live with an aged infrastructure, and will use emergency band-aids for a while.

Water Main Breaks Off Shepherd Canyon

If you drove down Shepherd Canyon Road this morning, then you were greeted by water flows due to a water main break.  This flooding came from a break on Shelterwood Drive, which effectively closed that road.

Both the Oakland Fire Department and East Bay MUD were on the scene by 9:00 am or so,  gamely trying to control the mess.

Shelterwood Water Main Break

Apparently there was a true gusher from the Shelterwood source.  Water not only flowed downhill to Shepherd Canyon, but also across the street from the Shelterwood intersection.  We’re not sure exactly which homes have no water, but mains have been shut down during the emergency fixes.

“The fireman on the scene told us we should save some water in pots as it may be off for the day,” said Montclarion Jennifer Rich.  “If you believe you might be supplied by this water main, and you’re home, you might want to do the same.”

This is a new one, as it typically takes a little rain to overwhelm the storm drains and culverts.  Guess our old infrastructure can also feel its age on a nice, sunny day.

RSVP:  Anyone with updated news traveling in the area, please let us know if things are under control now.