Ironically, a water line at the intersection of Water Street and Galisteo Street burst early this afternoon, flooding the lower half of Galisteo. (Insert drought joke here.)
The burst, which happened in front of the Collected Works bookstore, reportedly sent water up to ten feet into the air, littering the street with rocks and bricks. A gaping hole could be seen under the torrent of water, which eyewitnesses say quickly grew bigger.
"It was marvelous," said onlooker Delias Soveranes, laughing.
Soveranes, a plumber working up the street, said the city was attempting to shut down water to install a new line for a business when a valve exploded.
"It was crazy," said Rachel Smith, who was walking down Galisteo Street when it happened. She reported the water was so powerful that debris such as bricks from the road were thrown up into the air.
City workers confirmed that an "old" valve was the culprit.
Up to 40 minutes after the eruption, the lower end of Galisteo Street remained flooded. Tourists, locals and business owners from up and down the street snapped pics with cellphones. Businesses like Collected Works stacked sandbags in front of their doors and stoops to stop the water, already lapping at street level. Some onlookers even took off their shoes and waded around the flooded area, laughing.
The water line in question is a cast iron, 6-inch main. One worker estimated that the force of the water coming out of the line was up to 100 pounds per square inch, "enough to kill you."
Workers fanned out on surrounding streets to isolate the water and stop the flow. Estimates on when the water could be stopped were sketchy, but water began to recede later in the afternoon.
Street maintenance workers on site said that the entire neighborhood, including Don Gaspar Avenue to Sandoval Street, will be without water but could not specify when the outage would end, explaining that it "all depends on what we find down there."
Despite the excitement of the moment, the reality of the wasted water isn't lost.
Sam Romero, a street maintenance worker, said he won't even hazard a guess at how much seeped away.
"To guess, it'd be crazy," he said.