A broken fire hydrant on Shattuck and Center on April 5. Photo: G.W. Schulz

A malfunctioning fire hydrant exploded at about 4:30 p.m. yesterday on Shattuck and Center causing a geyser-like jet of water to soar into the air (see above). The result was captured on video by Michael Corey.

This is the second broken fire hydrant in as many months. On March 31 a fire hydrant that had been repaired the previous day broke off at its base on Fulton Street near Durant. It spewed gallons of water into the air for about 20 minutes before the fire department turned it off.

In fact, spontaneous fountains are becoming quite common in Berkeley. In December 2010, a fire hydrant on Shattuck and Center (possibly the same one as yesterday?) produced an impressive jet. And another one was seen last July on Shattuck and Carleton after a truck collided with a hydrant.

Oh, what the heck, we just can’t resist. There follows a photo gallery of our city’s recent short-lived hydrant jets. And, impressive as they are, we can’t help wondering what is causing them — and we trust nobody gets hurt when these things take off.

An impromptu fountain at Shattuck and Center on December 13, 2010. Photo: Steve McConnell
On July 3, 2010 a truck collided with a fire hydrant at Shattuck and Carleton. Photo: Keoki Seu
A broken fire hydrant spews water on March 31 at Fulton and Durant. Photo: Alicia Abramson

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...