San Diego saw fewer water main breaks and sewer spills in 2019 than it has in 15 years, the city announced Wednesday.
Last year, San Diego recorded 38 water main breaks, down 38% from 2018 and far less than the peak of 131 in 2010.
Sewer spills totaled 38, compared to 50 in 2018 and an all-time high of 365 in 2000.
In the past decade, the city has undertaken projects to significantly upgrade its water and sewer systems.
“We’ve focused on replacing our old cast-iron water mains and sewer lines to improve neighborhood infrastructure and better protect our environment,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “This has led to a significant decline in the frequency of spills and flooding, and that’s good news for our neighborhoods.”
Since 2013, San Diego has replaced nearly 220 miles of water mains across the city. The remaining 60 miles of cast-iron mains are scheduled for replacement over the next several years, will the goal of replacing all cast iron mains by 2024.
Between July 1, 2016, and the end of last June, nearly 175 miles of sewer mains were replaced or relined. Another 200 miles are scheduled to be replaced in the next five years. New water and sewer mains are made of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, and are expected to last much longer than pipe materials used in the past.
Another reason for a decline in water main breaks and sewer spills is improved preventive maintenance work by the Public Utilities Department, according to city officials. Crews routinely inspect pipelines, valves, pumps and other portions of the water and wastewater systems to make sure everything is in good working order.
“New pipelines, monitoring tools and the vigilance of our public utilities crews are making a huge difference for our city,” said Shauna Lorance, director of the Public Utilities Department. “We will continue to work toward further reducing infrastructure problems in the future.”
To report a water leak or sewer spill, call 619-515-3525.
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