Some CBJ water and sewer lines break from quake

An Admiralty Construction backhoe digs up a sewer line at the intersection of the Mendenhall, Back Loop and Glacier Spur roads. The line was replaced Monday afternoon. It’s believed the break in the pipe was caused by the earthquake that shook Juneau late Friday night. Photo courtesy Kirk Duncan.

The weekend earthquake that shook Southeast Alaska is likely responsible for some sewer and water breaks throughout Juneau.

CBJ Public Works Director Kirk Duncan says the first call came in Saturday from a homeowner about a sewer line break under his house.

“In doing research we found that we had a manhole that was backing up,” Duncan says. “We were able to bypass that manhole, put it into another system and luckily didn’t have any problem with sewer backups anywhere.  That being said we may find out that down the road that we have additional breaks and just haven’t found out about it yet.”

 He says another break in a wastewater line at the intersection of Mendenhall, Back Loop and Glacier Spur roads was found with a robotic camera.

“And it ran down the line and came to a place where it wasn’t a total collapse, but it might as well have been. It was a major restriction,” he says.

 A contractor dug up the pipe and the broken sewer line was replaced by Monday afternoon.

But the camera cannot be used to find water line problems. Duncan says some water valves also broke on Gail Avenue in the Mendenhall Valley and in Douglas.

We had some old valves and it was just enough vibration that it was able to break some of the valves, but again we’ve been able to bypass those valves so we’ve got nobody out of water at this time that I’m aware of,” Duncan says.

The 7.5 magnitude quake shook the capital city just before midnight on Friday.  The epicenter was about 200 miles south of Juneau.

Duncan says Juneau “sort of dodged a bullet” and while the water and sewer damage is not extensive,  he wouldn’t be surprised if other problems appear.



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