The breaking of an 8-inch water main may end up being an expensive mistake for a contractor working in the parking lot of a Mountlake Terrace apartment complex on Tuesday.
The contractor was using a backhoe to dig a trench at the Greenview Apartments, 21416-52nd Ave. W., when he ruptured a city water main. “It took about three hours to make repairs and turn the water back on for residents in the affected area,” said Mountlake Terrace Assistant City Manager Curt Brees.
Because the contractor did not request local utilities locate and mark where water, sewer, stormwater, gas or other utility lines may have been buried in the area, the city will be seeking reimbursement for the cost of the repairs. “Rough estimate of cost will is $1,000 to $1,500 for labor, equipment and materials,” Brees said. The city will also report the incident to state officials.
The rupture to the water main came less than two weeks after another contractor punctured while digging at the intersection of 236th Street SW and 59th Place West. Streets in the area were closed for three hours while Puget Sound Energy crews made repairs to the line.
City officials want to remind anyone who is planning a project that includes digging to learn if there are any utility lines in the proposed work area. “Homeowners and contractors should always call 811 two days before they dig,” Brees advised. “The service is free to use and takes less than 10 minutes.”
— Story and photo by Doug Petrowski