Four to eight million gallons of water went down the creek recently when American Valley Community Services District (AVCSD) was notified of a leak in East Quincy.
A county employee walking by Mill Creek near Mill Creek Fish and Chips happened to notice “water blowing out of the ground,” said Assistant General Manager Mike Green. Green was giving members of the AVCSD an update on the incident at the regular monthly meeting Thursday, Oct. 10.
Businesses within the area along Highway 70, including the Plumas County Sheriff’s Correctional Center were notified immediately that they would be without water until the problem was fixed.
A large pine tree growing right along the bank of the creek was the culprit, Green explained. After contacting CalTrans and the county of Plumas, Green received permission to cut it down.
After hours of jackhammering through approximately 4 feet of concrete that had been poured over the top of the main line, workers found their leak.
Green said that a 10-inch diameter tree root had wrapped itself around the line causing compression every time wind caused the tree to move. What finally happened was the force popped a chunk of the line out and spiral-cracks showed up around it.
Green thought it cracked and water started about a week before it was actually noticeable.
Although the tree is down, the stump remains, Green said. To remove the stump would require extensive work including moving a fence and then probably reinstalling it.
Green said crews checked the site. He added that they discovered the pine was full of bark beetles so it wouldn’t have lived much longer.
Green did not provide a cost estimate on labor and repairs.