Water main break blocks traffic around BSU


by NISHI GUPTA / Idaho's NewsChannel 7


Posted on November 30, 2009 at 10:21 AM

Updated Saturday, Nov 23 at 1:17 AM

BOISE -- Water flooded streets on the Boise State University campus early Monday morning.

United Water crews were on the scene throughout the night working to repair a water main break.

A stretch of a busy street on the Boise State campus is still closed.

Lincoln Avenue has been shutdown all night and all morning while crews decide what to do after a big water main pipe broke.

United Water replaced the burst water main at 2 a.m.

Tthe Ada County Highway District is waiting for United Water to clean up the area before they can decide the how to best fix the road.

"This is a pretty major water main," said United Water spokesman Mark Snider.  "Fortunately we were able to isolate it and shut valves off on either side of it. So really there are no customers affected except the Student Union building."

Crews dug underneath the pipe to safely remove the damaged section.  Snider says a 15 to 20-foot piece had to be replaced.  He says the pipe had a crack going down the side, but the cause of the burst is stil unknown.

"This water is under a lot of pressure. When a main breaks the pressure has to go somewhere. Generally that means it breaks through the concrete and takes a lot of dirt, a lot mud, a lot of rock with it," said Snider. 

According to some BSU students, the water went all the way down to the dorms, down University Drive.  And this morning those wet roads froze over with these cold tempratures.

"It was like inches. It was flooded you could not get out and walk in it," said BSU student Lizzy Naughton. 

Naughton had left the library when she got caught in the middle of the flooding.  She said it looked like water fall was coming down the street.

"Right here like by the entrance of the SUB and right over there, it was just flooding down in the gutters. And even down by suites the gutters were overflowing with water," she said.

Now what's left is puddles of frozen water and ice cold mud packed on sidewalks and street corners. Still a lot work left for road crews.

United Water still has to clean the mud and sediment up down the roads.

Once the streets are clean, the Highway District will check out the road to see the what damage was done -- until then Lincoln Avenue will remain closed.

Some residents saying they are getting brown water out of their pipes.

United Water recommends running your faucet until the water is clear, then it should be safe to drink.

If that doesn't work, you should contact United Water at 362-1300.