Human Error Blamed for San Francisco Water Main Break

December 29, 2011

Human error is being blamed for a water main break that damaged several homes and vehicles in a South San Francisco neighborhood.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission said on Tuesday that an engineer failed to properly design the water main. The result was that a crucial restraint that holds pipeline connections in place was missing.

Two pieces of pipe eventually became disconnected, contributing to the 60-foot geyser on Nov. 25 that sent more than a million gallons of water gushing through the neighborhood. No one was injured.

A total damage estimate is not yet available, but six homeowners and the owners of nine vehicles have filed claims against the utility so far.

The SFPUC says it is handling all the home repairs and is in the process of assessing vehicle damage.

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