This article was written by BenitoLink intern Juliana Luna
A water main break at the corner of San Benito and Fifth streets the morning of May 23 led to the closure of the 400 block of San Benito Street. The street was reopened May 24.
Hollister City Manager Brett Miller told BenitoLink that the cause of the leak is still to be determined.
“It would be too early in the process to figure out,” Miller said.
He said the city has a budget for repairs and will act accordingly.
“We don’t know the cost of it right now because it’s still being worked on,” he said.
According to a 2021 BenitoLink report, Henry Gonzalez, Hollister’s interim public works director said nearly 100-year-old cast iron pipes run beneath Fourth Street, from San Benito Street across a fault line, all the way to the bridge crossing the San Benito River. It’s unknown how much cast iron pipe is still in place throughout the city.
Gonzalez previously told BenitoLink that between 2017 and 2020 there were 39 water main breaks throughout the city.
Miller said the possible origin of the leak may be the age of the pipes, however, there is no official reason.
When asked if there are concerns on the nearby pipe’s life expectancy Miller said once the damaged pipe is repaired it puts more stress on the older parts of the line.
“We are working on them right now to take a look at replacing the older water lines in the city,” he said.
The focus now, he said, is to repair the leak as soon as possible.
Though San Benito Street is open, final repairs are still ongoing and it is expected they will be complete the afternoon of May 25.
“The expectation is to get the repairs as timely as possible so traffic can be back up in a timely manner,” Miller said.
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