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4 million gallons flowed from broken water mains

Denver Water said crews faced several obstacles in trying to stop flooding when two pipes burst in the Berkeley neighborhood on Sunday.

DENVER — Nearly a week after two water mains broke in the Berkeley neighborhood causing substantial water damage to several homes, Denver Water has revealed more about the obstacles that caused water to flow for three hours

Crews responded to the corner of West 45th Avenue and Perry Street on Sunday just before 8 a.m. to find the street flooded with waist-high water. Several vehicles were submerged while the flood entered several homes and flooded basements. 

A 24-inch conduit installed in 1927 broke, causing the road to collapse, which in turn, caused another 8-inch pipe to break, according to Denver Water. 

RELATED: Denver Water not legally responsible for pipe burst that damaged 50 properties

Crews had to locate 31 valves to eventually stop the flooding. One valve was paved over, however, Denver Water said that didn’t affect efforts to shut off the water because of redundancies built into the system. 

City-wide, there are about 80,000 water valves. If some don’t work, others will be able to be turned to shut off water.  

“One of the valves that we had to turn for the shut-off was actually in some of the flowing water from the break, which as you can imagine was a challenge in itself,” said spokesperson Travis Thompson. 

Thompson said an estimated 4 million gallons of water gushed from the broken water pipes.

To put 4 million gallons of water into perspective, it’s about six Olympic-sized swimming pools or about 100,000 bathtubs. Or for the average toilet, you’d have to flush it about 2.5 million times. 

Denver Water said on Friday it’s still unknown what caused the break. 

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