Oakland quake ruptures water mains

More than half a dozen water mains ruptured in the East Bay on Monday, mostly in and around the areas affected by a magnitude 4.0 earthquake Monday morning, according to the East Bay Municipal Water District.

District spokeswoman Tracie Morales-Noisy said:

“We had at least seven high priority main breaks and six are in the strong shake zone or within half a mile of the fault line. On average we receive two to three main breaks per day, so this is slightly more than double what we receive on any given Monday. … This has our crews working very hard.”

At least five of the breaks were located in Oakland and all of them were older cast iron pipes, according to Morales-Noisy. She said the incident serves as a reminder of the infrastructure hazards of a major seismic event like the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989:

“We could see hundreds or thousands of main breaks, and it would have an enormous impact. … We recommend that customers have a minimum of three to seven days worth of water in their home in the event of a major water emergency.”

She advised area residents to keep at least one to two gallons of water per day for each person in the home:

“It doesn’t have to be a major emergency, it could be just a main break. … Things are unpredictable, and you never know when you’ll need a water supply.”