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Water main break forces weekend closure

WASATCH BOULEVARD – A massive water main break next to I-215 left a huge mess and forced U-DOT to shut down an interchange ramp for this weekend.

The break happened right next to the home of Scott Clements at the top of Wasatch Boulevard.  He says water shot 15 feet up and across all northbound lanes of I-215.  “We were at Yellowstone about two months ago and it didn’t look nearly as cool as this did.”

(Photo Credit: Scott Clements)

Salt Lake City Public Utilities crews had the water mostly turned off within a half hour.  They say the break happened in a 16-inch pipe that was relatively new.

Deputy Director Jesse Stewart says, “We didn’t turn the water completely off. We need to keep some positive pressure in the pipes so we don’t drain it then siphon dirt and debris back into it.”  Stewart says they’re still trying to determine why the pipe broke in the first place.

City officials say there was never an issue with drinking water for the homes nearby and the pipe, itself, is expected to be repaired by tonight. However, UDOT crews will need more time to make sure the ground near the burst is stable.  District Engineer Shawn Lambert says they’ve closed off the northbound ramp to eastbound I-80 for the weekend so they can replace what was washed away.  Lambert says, “To get the water shut off and to re-backfill around the pipe and stabilize the slope is going to take through the weekend.”