Broken Fire Hydrant Causes 'Fountain' on SepulvedaApr 11, 2023 05:52PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Photo credit: Brenda O'Leary
Motorists heading down Sepulveda on Tuesday morning might have wondered: Did the city of Manhattan Beach just add a new water feature next to the Gelson's?
No, but when a truck hit a fire hydrant at 8th and Sepulveda, a brief "fountain" erupted at the busy intersection. (See video on the MB News Instagram feed.)
This particular fire hydrant took a little longer than usual to shut off because of the way the pipe was sheared off, said Manhattan Beach Fire Department Captain Paramedic Erick Strong.
These types of accidents are not uncommon, Strong said, but as far as fixing it, "sometimes it’s very easy; sometimes it challenges you a little bit. This one was a little more challenging than most."
The tower of water rose up about 30 feet in the air. The pressure coming from these hydrants can run anywhere from 250 to 1500 gallons per minute, said Strong.
At one point, a maintenance worker could be seen using the "road closed" sign to shield his head from the pouring water.
All told, it took about 10 minutes - an effort that involved both the fire department and the city's water department - to shut off the flow of water.
(Although the accident was initially said to be a hit and run accident, a Manhattan Beach Police Department spokesperson confirmed that the driver had in fact reported the accident.)
The sidewalk area is now blocked off for repairs, but the hydrant - not the whole water main - is shut off.
In 2021, a car driving down Sepulveda at 17th Street also took out a fire hydrant. Although that accident did not result in a giant fountain of water, it flooded the car and created a "river" that ran down Sepulveda.