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Burst pipe leaves Shasta County homes waterless

Published On: Jul 22 2014 01:59:50 AM CDT
HAPPY VALLEY, Calif. -

A break in the main leaves Shasta County homes without water.

Things got a little messy out in Happy Valley. Water district officials said this one was a rarity, while customers were just hoping for a proper fix while their homes remained dry.

“I used a bowl to shave,” said Dave Hutchison, who lives near where the break happened.

A 16-inch water main blew out late Monday afternoon around 3:30, prompting the Clear Creek Community Services District to quickly respond. One of its staff members happened to be driving by and saw water gushing from Hawthorne Avenue, west of Anderson.

That piping supplies water to about 40-to-60 homes. The water was shut off shortly after.

Hutchison said he and his mother could tell something was wrong.

"Everything just shut off and [my mom] came to visit me at my house and said is your water off? I said yes, and we checked the main and the main seemed fine. So we called the water company," Hutchison said.

The district fielded dozens of calls Monday evening while working to get it fixed by excavating and replacing the broken line. They said this specific piping has been there since the ‘60s, saying this break was a "freak thing" and that they constantly monitor the pressure.

With dirt and debris now in the line customers will be asked to flush out their systems. It is something Hutchison feels is unfortunate in this drought.

"Well I hate to drop the water, but at the same time you don't want it in your toilet valves and stuff. And then you're going to wind up at Ace Hardware over here, pulling it all out,” he said. "So it's a pain in the butt."

Prior to beginning the flushing process district officials said they will first check the customer’s meter. The Clear Creek Community Services District then checks the meter after the flushing to see how much water was used and will credit that amount.

As of late Monday night, district officials did not have an estimated time for when water service will be restored. They said they have no idea how much water was lost in Monday’s break and will look to determine that over the next few days.