Water main break floods residents’ yards

ST. GEORGE — A water main break in a neighborhood street in St. George flooded the yards of some area homeowners Sunday afternoon.

A side-yard is flooded after a water main break flooded residences on 300 South in St. George, Utah, July 17, 2017 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

St. George Fire Department responded to the incident at approximately 4:30 p.m. at the corner of 300 South and 500 East.

Watch video top of this report.

Trevor Eaton and his family were picnicking at nearby Vernon Worthen Park when they saw the flooding.

“As we were finishing up lunch, I noticed a lot of water coming up Flood Street,” Eaton said, referring to the street otherwise known as 400 East.

“As we were watching the water, we noticed that it was really red dirt,” Eaton said, “and so it was weird to me that there’d be that much water going down the street without any rain or anything.”

Water floods out of a broken water main into the yards of area residences on 300 South in St. George, Utah, July 17, 2017 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

The water was flooding out of a large crack in the asphalt where the cast iron pipe split open on 500 East feet away from where it intersects with 300 South.

The water flowed west then swept south down 400 East, creating a large pool of water in the middle of the road.

North-facing homes on 300 South bore the brunt of the flow, which was mostly caught in the street’s deep gutters, but also overflowed onto the sidewalk and into the yards of at least two of the homes lining the street.

While they waited for responders to arrive, Eaton and others attempted to block some of the water from flowing into the residences.

Wood and cinder blocks are used to divert water away from residences after a water main broke on 300 South in St. George, Utah, July 17, 2017 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

“We tried to set up some wood and bricks to try and divert the water back into the ditch to keep it from flooding the backyard and also from flooding the people that live behind here, as well,” Eaton said.

Emergency personnel from St. George Fire Department arrived to ensure safety, blocking a portion of 300 South, which was deemed unsafe at the time of the flooding.

“It wasn’t a huge break,” Scott Taylor, St George Water Services director, said. “We get these breaks regularly. So, we expect them.  We know how to repair them and take care of them quickly.”

City crews isolated the leak and shut off the water line within approximately 25 minutes of initial flooding and were actively working to fix the broken pipe into the evening.

City crews shut off water to a broken water main after it flooded the yards of area residences on 300 South in St. George, Utah, July 17, 2017 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

“They’ll probably be out of water for three or four hours until we get the break fixed and they’ll be back in service shortly,” Taylor said of area residents.

If a situation arises where crews can’t get water back in service readily, they have emergency contingencies available, such as providing water from fire hydrants.

“Our main goal is to get them back in service as quickly as we can and try to make it so it’s not as much of … an inconvenience as it could be.”

The city is also in the process of systematically replacing sections of the old piping.

“A lot of the downtown area, the pipe has been in for quite a while,” Taylor said. “We can’t get to all of them before the break occurs.”

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Email: jwitham@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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