Log-jam on leaks cleared, water main to be relocated

Years after water leaks began springing up on Tulane Road, the city seems to be working on a solution to fix the problem.

Jim Gingrich, whose property has suffered a slow leak for more than three weeks, received a letter from the city on January 28 outlining plans to work with Golden State Water Company (GSW) to relocate the water main further into the road while saving the oak trees that line the street.

“Per the agreement with the city,” the letter reads, “Golden State Water will work with the City’s Engineering Department to secure the required permits to make certain that public property, including oak trees, traffic flow and public access, are appropriately protected during construction and completion of the project.”

Ben Lewis, general manager of GSW’s Foothill district, said the project is currently “out for bid,” meaning contractors are being evaluated for the project. Mr. Lewis hopes to get the bids back in the next week.

“We hope to have a contractor out there by the end of this month,” he said.

The city has been embroiled in a stalemate with GSW amid its claim of eminent domain over the ownership of Claremont’s water system. Several residents across the city have told the COURIER that leaks have gone unrepaired due to the ongoing litigation.

A judge will hear the eminent domain case on March 7.

Claremont Public Information Officer Bevin Handel confirmed that engineers from the city met with representatives from Golden State Water on January 28, but was unaware of a timetable for the water main relocation.

Ms. Handel said the city is waiting for GSW technicians to draft up the plans, which will then be given the okay from city engineers, for construction to begin.

Meanwhile, leaks are still springing up around the city, including a gusher on the 500 block of Twelfth Street that sent a small river of water down the street.

The leak emerged on Saturday, January 30, but GSW technicians were unable to get to it until the following Monday due to inclement weather, according to Mr. Lewis. Crews were seen slicing up concrete sidewalks on Monday to get to the source of the rupture.

The new leak is on the same block as an older leak on the corner of Twelfth and Oxford Avenue, which has remained unaddressed since November 2015 and is marked by orange pylons. Mr. Lewis said that leak would be more difficult to repair without damaging or removing the tree on top of it.

“We understand people want to preserve the tree, and we try what we can,” Mr. Lewis said. “But in some cases with the timing and the severity, sometimes you have to take down the tree.”

Meanwhile, the leak in front of Mr. Gingrich’s property continues to flow.

“It’s still leaking and they can’t fix it until they get the new water main in,” Mr. Gingrich said.

But he is happy about the progress between the city and GSW. “It’s a good thing,” he said.

—Matthew Bramlett

news@claremont-courier.com

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