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Homeowners begin cleanup after water main break floods backyards and basements

Some people said there was more than 2 feet of water in their basements and yards during the worst of the flood on Sunday.

DENVER — Homeowners in Denver's Berkeley neighborhood spent Monday cleaning up basements and yards after a water main break flooded the streets.

A 24-inch water pipe broke Sunday morning near 45th Avenue and Perry Street, which caused flooding in the neighborhood, said Travis Thompson, a spokesperson with Denver Water. By 11:20 a.m. Sunday, water was shut off to the area. Service was restored around 9 p.m. Monday, according to Denver Water.

RELATED: Service restored after large water main break in Berkeley neighborhood

Water damage restoration trucks were parked on Quitman Street for most of the day Monday. 

Some homeowners along that road saw their backyards and basements with more than two feet of water. 

Stacy Bramer was one of them. 

"It was a lake and kind of a river because things were flowing all over my backyard," Bramer said. "They pumped out four truckloads [of water]. I don’t know how many gallons that was but they’re gigantic like cement-sized trucks."

Denver Water said they do not know the cause of the water main break. The pipe was about 100 years old, but other factors, like the pipe material and a temperature shift, could have played a role.

"Age is not necessarily a main factor to a main break," Denver Water spokesperson Jose Salas said. "If we could predict when [water main breaks] were going to happen, they wouldn’t. But we do have a proactive program that allows us to try and get ahead of these main breaks as much as we can."

Denver Water does not need to claim responsibility for the break.

Under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act, Denver Water said, it is not responsible for damages resulting from a water main break. The utility company will, however, provide payments for things like restoration and contractor services based on estimates they get from their own contractors. 

9NEWS reached out to Denver Water to see if people can get reimbursed for working with other vendors who aren’t affiliated with Denver Water, but did not hear back.

"I just see a lot of dollar signs too, a lot of out-of-pocket expenses that I’m going to have to pay for, and I don't know if it’s guaranteed that Denver Water is going to pay us back," Bramer said as she thought about potentially losing her home.

Credit: KUSA

"This is my whole life, so I don’t want to get too emotional, but this is what I put all my energy into," she said. "This is why I have a job to pay my mortgage."

Down the street, Bob Carnes continued the work to dig out all the mud and water from the basement of the house he is building. He's a project manager with Work Shop Colorado.

"It’s one of those things that unfortunately happens and you have no control over," Carnes said. "Everything just came in like a river and flooded everything. It got all the way up past the first floor in here."

The mess sets him back, big time. He said it's going to cost him money and time. 

"This is thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars that has been wasted," Carnes said. "We had this thing just really clean and ready for inspections today when this happened yesterday."

Denver Water said 47 homes were without water on Monday. The water was restored around 9 p.m. The road will be closed through at least Thursday morning. 

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