By Mark Sayre

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) – What used to be a waterway filled with plants and fish in Oakland’s Rockridge neighborhood is now essentially solid concrete.

Crews working for East Bay Municipal Water District were working to seal an old water line from the 1930’s on Wednesday when an unplanned spill happened.

“We fill these segments of pipe with a material called cellular cement. Our subcontractor was here filling a segment of pipeline and a valve was left open. That valve leads into a storm drain that leads into this creek,” said Abby Figueroa of EBMUD.

The cement flowed into Glen Echo Creek for about 90 minutes before neighbors along the creek noticed the changing color of the water and notified the crew.

“I’m mostly concerned about the deer in the area,” said resident Gay Parker. “It is birthing season and they need to get some water here in the creek.”

State Fish & Wildlife experts have also arrived to evaluate the extent of the damage.

“The good news is because of the nature of concrete it hardens and is not going to do any more damage,” said Andrew Hugan of the Department of Fish & Wildlife. “But, initially, yeah it’s bad. There is a half a mile of creek that is pretty much destroyed.”

State and local officials are investigating how the valve got left open.

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