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June 5, 2005 12:05 AM

Broken: (not really) water shut-off

Img_6410bFernando Corrado writes:

I was driving down Balboa in Granada Hills, CA.  Had to stop and snap a quick pic of this. I didn't know the shutoff was in the middle of the street.

[Not broken, necessarily - but definitely a "hmmm" picture! -mh]


I assume the "broken" aspect is that a shut-off in the middle of the street disrupts traffic. But lots of utilities and related stuff are in the middle of streets. I figure it's because the street is already cleared and accessible, vs. having to use additional land off to the side, and then not being able to build anything over whatever utilities you bury there.

Posted by: Bob Sifniades at June 5, 2005 12:43 AM

that's a really great shot!! broken or not, i like it! =D

Posted by: ambrocked at June 5, 2005 12:43 AM

Why would the turn off be in the middle of the street? :) Taht's like having a switch for the kitchen light installed in the bedroom...

Posted by: Chaos at June 5, 2005 12:45 AM

well if the shutoff valve was on the hydrant, you would get absolutely soaked

Posted by: Andrew at June 5, 2005 12:57 AM

I could be way off on this, but my guess is that when the street's are laid down or repaved (in the case of older streets i guess), it's convenient to simply put utility lines/access/controls there as well. If you're already going to dig up a patch of ground, why not use it as much as possible.

Posted by: Jonathan at June 5, 2005 01:19 AM

No, you're right on Jonathan. Main water lines are always under the street. So, where else would the shutoff be?

Not broken at all.

Posted by: g guy at June 5, 2005 09:56 AM

I think what is broken is the people who apparently have a reading comphrehension problem and ae screaming not broken...the description says it is not broken really.. just a neat picture

Posted by: infinity at June 5, 2005 11:43 AM

cool pic definatly...

Posted by: Vic at June 5, 2005 01:32 PM

cool picture, but not broken.

i.e. it's (not really) broken.

Posted by: Bob at June 5, 2005 02:38 PM

Something broken on this site: The little Javascript image popups are configured to be a certain size and to not allow scroll bars or resizing. When an image is taller than my laptop's screen (1024x768) I have to ctrl-click on it and select "view image in new window" to actually see the bottom part.

Posted by: fluffy at June 5, 2005 04:17 PM

isn't technology grand?! how annoying.

Posted by: ambrocked at June 5, 2005 06:00 PM

strange, my laptop is set to the same resultion and i see the whole pic woth room left on the bottom

Posted by: unknown at June 5, 2005 08:28 PM

same with my desktop, fluffy.

Posted by: Bob at June 5, 2005 08:41 PM

bob, do u have a CRT or LCD. Because sometimes with CRTs if the Refresh Rate isn;t set right it affects screen size. On my laptop and on my desktop pc(CRT) i have them both set to 1024x768 and i see the whole pic, but then again i use firefox

Posted by: unknown at June 5, 2005 09:31 PM

Most buried services (water, gas, etc) have the shutoff valve further down the pipe, usually where the stem that services the feature (the hydrant, the house gas service, etc) branches off from the main line. S'why they're called "curb valves", because while they are connected to the hydrants, they're most often found at curbside... or in cases like this poorly-designed one, apparently in the middle of an intersection..

Posted by: Jay911 at June 6, 2005 01:05 AM

I'd like to have a kitchen light in the bedroom that way I wouldn't stub my toe trying to get a glass of water in the middle of the night

Posted by: jvjgf at June 6, 2005 07:32 AM

I know water lines are under the street... thank you very much. I don't live under a rock. I just think it makes more sense to have the shut-off on the side of the road, perhaps, instead of in the middle of the intersection.

Posted by: Chaos at June 6, 2005 08:20 AM

I'm a firefighter in the mid-Atlantic area. It's standard practice here to have the valves in the street like that. In this case, the valve at the hydrant is obviously broken, but there's another one closer to the water source. It's not so much like having a switch for the kitchen light in the bedroom as it is having another switch at the electrical panel so you don't have to shut down the whole circuit. As for being in the street as opposed to somewhere else, being in the street makes it much easier to find and have access to.

Posted by: j2brown at June 6, 2005 10:28 AM

It would still be easy to find if it were on the other side of the street, removing the danger of getting run over while attempting to shut off the water that was spraying all over the road causing the cars to spin out of control and hit you.

Posted by: Fuzzy at June 6, 2005 03:12 PM

Metal shut off pipe disrupts tracking sensor, light stays green,car hits person, car bends metal pipe and brakes control valve, street gets flooded

Posted by: unknown at June 6, 2005 09:10 PM

However, the pipe isnt under the sidewalk on the other side.

Posted by: Picho at June 7, 2005 04:42 AM

I have a CRT, unknown. How do you change the refresh rate?

Posted by: Bob at June 12, 2005 10:37 PM

What if there are cars in the street (moving at 20 MPH)?

How is that more accessable than the valve say 20 feet along the sidewalk or on the other side of the street on that sidewalk?

Posted by: dsrdfsgfd at June 12, 2005 10:42 PM

Bob, I clicked on your link to e-mail you how to change the refresh rate on your CRt. But your site was invisible -- I hate Flash and don't have it installed, so I couldn't get anywhere at all on your site, so I gave up trying to contact you directly.

For the refresh rate, see the Display item in the Control Panel, under Settings/Advanced/Monitor (at least in Windows XP).

Posted by: David Walker at August 5, 2005 02:18 PM

There will be no cars traveling the street. It is common and, usually, required practice to block traffic on the road in the area of a water main break. Once again, as Fernando wrote, (not) broken, just a funny picture.

Posted by: Jason Grimaldi at November 17, 2005 12:27 PM

if it was on the side of the street where the hydrant was, how would they get to it... that would be a pain with all the high pressure water going everywhere

Posted by: sum1 at April 16, 2006 09:34 PM

Yeah, I hope they don't make that waterspout to too high! Besides, nobody carries around an umbrella or parasol these days.

P.S. Be careful or you'll have three well-done workers!

Posted by: another guy named Alex B. at April 19, 2006 08:06 PM

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