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Pipe Bursts Near San Mateo Creek, Killing Rare Fish

Up to a couple hundred fish were expected to die as a result.

Dozens of fish, including rare steelhead, were killed after a drinking water pipe burst and sent thousands of gallons of chlorinated water rushing into San Mateo Creek, according to an article in the San Mateo Daily Journal.

The city's Public Utilities Commission discovered the leak Saturday near Crystal Springs Reservoir, part of a drinking water system that serves 2.5 million Bay Area residents, San Mateo officials said. 

Officials said they expected at least a couple of hundred fish to die in the incident.

San Mateo Creek flows about five miles from the reservoir to San Francisco Bay.

The 1932-era pipe that broke was likely corroded, but the official cause of the burst is not yet known, city officials said. 

When the pipe burst, it sent chlorinated water at 1,000-gallons per minute down a hillside and into the creek. Crews were able to slow, but not stop, the leak after several hours, and repairs to the pipe was ongoing Tuesday.

Officials said they did not expect a long-term environmental problem there as a result.

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John C February 13, 2013 at 03:39 PM
Chlorinated water, the stuff we drink, kills fish?
Troy February 13, 2013 at 04:46 PM
Yep John, I learned that the hard way with my daughter's gold fish. I don't drink tap water anymore.
John C February 14, 2013 at 02:31 AM
Whatever is in water can get absorbed through the skin when you take a shower or bath. What about cooking? Am I supposed to cook rice or soak my beans in bottled water too? It is an outrage!
John C February 14, 2013 at 02:34 AM
I believe the problem with the fish only started when they switched to chloramine a few years back. I remember many people complained but public officials insisted chloramine was safe.

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