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Boulder not responsible for water main break

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Posted at 7:21 PM, Feb 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-23 21:21:10-05

The City of Boulder says it's not responsible for the water main break last Tuesday that did thousands of dollars worth of damage to multiple homes.

Residents living on the 1500 block of Norwood Avenue received a letter Friday from the city claiming it wasn't responsible for damage done as a result of the cast iron pipe that burst on February 16. 

City officials say the cause was corrosion and pressure. When the pipe burst, water flowed east, down the road and into the basements of multiple homes, including Carla Graubard's.

"It rushed into our house, I believe through a bedroom window and flooded the entire lower level," said Graubard. 

Graubard had to replace the flooring in the bottom level of her home. She said she thinks the city should help since the water flowed for so long. 

"If I don't get any reimbursement for this, it will be an extremely expensive proposition," Graubard said.

City spokesperson Ben Irwin said the rest of the water main on Norwood Avenue won't be replaced because there are other water mains in the city that need it more.

"The age of the pipe ranges from the early twentieth century to last year," Irwin said.

According to city information, there are 87 miles of underground pipe that were put in between 1900 and 1969. Not all of that pipe needs to be replaced, some of the pipes are made from steel or clay. Also, whether pipes have a history of breaking in an area is another reason the city looks into. All of the factors go into whether the city decides to replace the water system in a particular area.

"I'd say on average the city replaces about 20,000 feet of water main, spends about $3 to 3.5 million on replacement," Irwin said.

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