HAYWARD (KPIX 5) — More than 100 people in Hayward were without water for most of Sunday after a massive pipe broke, sending water, rocks, and mud running down city streets and opening a sizable sinkhole.
The main broke around 10 a.M. Sunday morning on a residential street off Mission Boulevard.
Crews with the City of Hayward were able to get the water turned back on around 7 p.m., but the fissure in the large pipe 10,000 gallons of water a minute created a lot of cleanup work left to be done.”
The break created a fast moving river of water and mud down Highland Boulevard, rushing through yards and under cars.
The extreme pressure from the thousands of gallons of water ripped the street apart.
“The water was pushing upwards. Like, it just came apart and then the sinkhole just collapsed inwards,” said Hayward resident Jose Magallanes.
It was orchestrated chaos as crews lowered a new 12-inch water main into the eight-foot deep hole.
“As the water comes rushing out of the pipe, it’s going to follow the trench lines and flow underneath the asphalt,” said Bert Weiss with City of Hayward Utilities.
Crews said they didn’t know why the massive water pipe failed.
“It was installed in 1976, so it’s actually a relatively new pipe by water pipe standards,” said Weiss. “It appears to be in good shape, so I really don’t know what caused the failure.”
Once crews had the new section of pipe in place, it took less than an hour to finish the repairs.
Workers say the water is safe to drink for residents in the area.
“That’s why we maintained that positive water pressure throughout this process and flushed the lines,” said Weiss. “And so now everything should be good because we do have disinfectants in the water.”
The section of Highland Boulevard will stay closed throughout the night because road crews won’t be able to repair the street until Monday.