9 water pipes rupture in aftermath of East Bay earthquake Monday

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In the aftermath of a 4.0-magnitude earthquake that rattled the East Bay on Monday, nine water pipes broke near the epicenter, the East Bay Municipal Utility District reported.

Once the earthquake hit about 6:49 a.m., five of the nine pipes — constructed from cast iron, which can be susceptible to seismic ground movement — broke in Oakland, according to EBMUD spokesperson Abby Figueroa. No ruptures occurred in Berkeley pipes.

“It’s hard to say specifically if the earthquake caused them,” Figueroa said, noting that the earthquake could have just exacerbated small leaks.

EBMUD officials said about two to three main breaks occur on an average day, mostly because some of the pipes are reaching the end of their 75- to 100-year life expectancy.

“None of (the breaks) were severe yesterday … compared to what’s possible in our service area,” Figueroa said. “While there were more than normal, none of them were especially large.”

According to Figueroa, the district repaired most pipe ruptures within eight hours and nearly all within 24 hours.

Contact Andrea Platten at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @andreaplatten.