Crews looking for leak that caused Oakland mudslide in hills

OAKLAND (BCN) — The East Bay Municipal Utility District is investigating whether a leak in one of its pipes caused a landslide in the Oakland hills last month.

Water samples taken from a landslide on Oak Hill Road indicated it may be cause by treated water, suggesting a leak in the system, EBMUD spokeswoman Tracie Morales-Noisy said Wednesday.

Once that became clear, EBMUD crews started working to find the source of the leak but so far haven’t had any luck.

They’re using equipment like sound devices that can detect a trickle of water in the hillside to track down the leak. At one point they thought they’d found it, but when crews dug into the ground there, the area was dry, Morales-Noisy said.

“This leak is proving to be particularly challenging. We’re just not sure where this water’s coming from at the moment,” Morales-Noisy said.

Crews are continuing to look for the source of the leak so they can make repairs. Meanwhile, at one point the leak caused enough mud that a worker taking soil samples in the area on Jan. 26 got stuck up to his knees in it and had to be rescued by firefighters.

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