Water pipe bursts open at Foothill parking lot Sunday

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A water pipe at the Foothill parking lot burst open early Sunday morning, causing a small flood that slightly damaged property in the residence hall.

The break was reported at approximately 3:45 a.m. The pipe belongs to the East Bay Municipal Utility District, or EBMUD. The utility district’s crew members responded on scene about 4:45 a.m., and the flowing water was shut off about 6 a.m. The cause of the breakage is unclear.

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“I saw water trickling down towards the road,” said Akira Bai, a UC Berkeley freshman living at Foothill. “The water was really murky.”

According to Christine Shaff, director of communication for the campus’s facilities services, the water created a 6-foot-deep sinkhole at the parking lot and flowed around the Greek Theatre and into Foothill before traveling to Southside. The water leaked into two apartments at Foothill, as well as the library.

“The water went downhill, and we did experience some water damage in the residence halls,” said Marty Takimoto, spokesperson for the Residential and Student Service Programs. “So the water supply to Foothill was off or very slow.”

Andrea Pook, an EBMUD spokesperson, said the line that broke was a 16-inch steel pipe that carried drinking water. Crew members repaired the pipe around noon on Monday, restoring water service. The service disruption affected areas on Hearst Avenue from Highland Place to Gayley Road.

Crew members cleaned up surrounding areas on the street, including the Greek Theatre, Pook said.

Jessie Lau is a news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @jessielau93.