300 residents out of water in West Berkeley, nearby cities due to estimated 16 water main breaks

Routine pressure adjustments may have caused older pipes to burst, according to EBMUD.

firefighters at a water main break on Fourth Street
Firefighters respond to a water main break on Fourth street on Wednesday night. Photo: Alan Zucker

About 300 residents are out of water due to over a dozen water main breaks in West Berkeley and neighboring cities on Wednesday night, according to the East Bay Municipal Utility District.

EBMUD public information officer Andrea Pook said there were about 16 breaks throughout Berkeley, Albany, Emeryville and North Oakland. EBMUD, Berkeley fire, police and PG&E responded to the locations to shut off the water and roads and repair the pipes. She said estimates are “fluid,” but service is expected to be restored by midday.

“We have operators who adjust pressure in our pipes all day, every day, in response to fluctuations in customer water demand,” she said. “We think an adjustment of higher pressure may have caused the more vulnerable, older pipes to break.”

Berkeleyside readers shared several photos and videos of the water main breaks and resulting flooding.

Berkeley fire spokesman Keith May said the water main breaks activated multiple fire alarms, and the department received 33 calls for service between 7:30 p.m. and midnight.


water floods part of the road on Fourth Street
Water floods an area of Fourth Street after a water main break. Photo: Christine McGuinness

Berkeley police reported several road closures due at about 10 p.m. Wednesday, including southbound Sacramento Street between Allston Way and Addison Street, Pardee Street between Seventh and Eighth streets, Dwight Way between Sacramento and Edwards streets and the area of Fourth Street and Channing Way.

Police spokesman Byron White said Thursday morning that most of these road closures are still in effect.

This story will be updated as we receive further information. 

Supriya Yelimeli is Berkeleyside's homelessness and housing reporter. Email: supriya@berkeleyside.org. Twitter: SupriyaYelimeli. Phone: 510-585-8315.