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Water main break results in closure of Campus Drive West/Santa Teresa Street roundabout


The Campus Drive West/Santa Teresa Street roundabout was closed from 5 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. today as Stanford Water Department staff worked to repair a 12-inch water main break at the intersection of the two streets. The break was reported at 12:49 a.m. today, according to the Stanford Department of Public Safety (SUDPS).

“Deputies responded and noted a large amount of water cascading north on Campus Drive towards the Medical Center,” SUDPS stated in its initial notice of the closure, which was sent at 6:15 a.m.

In a 9:35 a.m. email to The Daily, SUDPS spokesperson Bill Larson noted that water was “no longer flowing from the break” and that “removal of mud from the street and sidewalk” was in progress. As a result, he added, the roundabout was still closed at that time.

Land, Buildings and Real Estate staff arrived at the site of the break by 2 a.m., according to SUDPS. In its 6:15 a.m. notice SUDPS wrote that “Some residences may experience low water pressure depending on their location relative to the water main break.” However, Larson wrote at 9:35 a.m. that “Water pressure is now fully restored to the affected residences.”

Water mains — underground pipes that transport water from reservoirs and pumping stations to residences — may be broken due to excessive pressure on the pipes, especially during extreme weather changes and when the outsides of pipes become corroded. 

As of SUDPS’s 6:15 a.m. notice, the exact location of today’s break had not been isolated. Larson wrote in his email to The Daily that, “Other than the break in the water main, it is unknown if there are any damages until the mud is removed.”

SUDPS requested that Stanford employees who enter campus through Junipero Serra Boulevard or Campus Drive West instead use Sand Hill Road to Stock Farm Road to enter campus while the break was under repair. At 12:39 p.m., SUDPS sent a second notice to confirm that the roundabout re-opened for normal traffic at 12:30 p.m.

Today’s water main break comes less than a month after a Dec. 9 break that caused flooding at the Kairos and Phi Kappa Psi houses, as well as roadway flooding and closures on Santa Ynez Street between Mayfield and Costanzo. Kairos, Phi Kappa Psi and Grove were temporarily left without running water as a result of the Dec. 9 break.


This article has been updated with comment from SUDPS spokesperson Bill Larson. This article has also been updated to reflect the re-opening of the affected roundabout for traffic at 12:30 p.m.

Contact Holden Foreman at [email protected]

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Holden Foreman '21 is the Vol. 257 president and editor-in-chief. He was the Vol. 256 executive editor (vice president). He was managing editor of news in Vol. 254 and student business director in Vol. 255. He hails from the city of St. Louis, Missouri and is studying computer science. Contact him at hs4man21 'at'