DALY CITY -- The water pipe rupture that sent a river of mud flowing into a Daly City neighborhood and the massive cleanup that followed are expected to cost nearly $1 million, officials said Tuesday.
In a 5-0 vote, the City Council on Monday approved setting aside $991,100 to pay for repairs to the hillside above the homes on Lausanne Avenue and the 8-inch water main that cracked open Nov. 13. The expenses will be drawn from the money already collected from residents' water bills.
On Wednesday, city officials are expected to give residents of the muddied but largely undamaged neighborhood an update on the cleanup and repairs. It'll also be an opportunity for people to file claims against the city for damages stemming from the 97,835 gallon leak.
The largest chunk of the money -- $497,100 -- will go to fixing the roughly 200-foot long and in some place 40-foot deep gash the water tore in the hillside. Another $200,000 is expected to go toward repairing the broken water pipe, according to a report from city sewer and water Director Patrick Sweetland.
About $80,000 went to cleaning up the several feet of mud let loose by the leak. The City Council also set aside $150,000 for possible cost overruns, Sweetland's report says.
The cost of the repairs left some residents wondering why the city didn't realize sooner that the 1930s cast iron pipe was at risk of cracking. The city said age was a "significant factor" in the pipe's rupture. Gualter Fontanilla, who saw the road in front of his home fill with mud after the leak, said someone should have been checking the pipes.
"Did they fire anybody yet?" Fontanilla asked. "In the civilian world, if you don't do your job they fire you."
Daly City Manager Patricia Martel said the pipe segment that broke had never been inspected but was slated for a future upgrade. The city planned to install a liner into the pipe that would keep it from rupturing. However, that work hadn't been done yet because it would limit water flow to customers.
"We have over 200 miles of (water and sewer) pipelines in our city," she said. "Unfortunately, we had not gotten to this one."
City officials said the mud and water didn't get into the clusters of homes below the leak. However, the mud half-buried nearly a dozen cars parked along Lausanne Avenue and was a few feet deep in a several hundred square foot section of Hillside Park.
Resident Michael Jennings said his house has developed sewage problems since the mudslide. About a week ago, he came home to find his toilet had overflowed into his bedroom and living room. The plumbers told him, he said, the mudslide and subsequent work to clean it up caused the problem.
"So add that to the bill," he said.
The meeting with city officials is slated for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Hillside Clubhouse at 222 Lausanne Ave. in Daly City.
Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335. Follow him at Twitter.com/melvinreport.