UPDATE: Repairs to Sewer Line Rupture, Sink Hole in Palm Desert Taking Longer than Expected

Update 1:54 p.m. Coachella Valley Water District officials have released more info about delays on repairing a ruptured sewer line on Cook Street in Palm Desert, and they advise residents to expect traffic delays on Cook "until further notice."

Here is part of the district's statement issued Wednesday afternoon:

"During the repair of a sinkhole discovered Monday night, Coachella Valley Water District crews found asphalt depression in three additional locations along Cook Street in Palm Desert, delaying completion of final repairs.

"Cook Street will be reduced to one lane in each direction from approximately Sheryl Avenue to Merle Drive, until further notice. Motorists are encouraged to use alternative routes or allow extra travel time if driving through the area.

"The sinkhole, approximately 20-feet by 10-feet in size, was caused by a break in a 33-inch gravity sewer line. A minimal amount of sewage leaked from the pipe, but it did not leave the sinkhole.

"While repairing the sewer line on Tuesday, crews discovered asphalt depression at three nearby locations, which caused concern regarding the possibility of additional sinkholes. CVWD has halted repairs until the entire sewer line can be inspected and evaluated to better determine the cause and extent of damage. A contractor is being hired to assist in the evaluation and repairs.

"It is not yet known how long the evaluation and repairs will take. Lane closures will remain in place as a safety precaution.

"CVWD appreciates motorists' patience while the work is being performed. Water and sewer service will not be affected by the work."

Posted 12:43 p.m. Repairs to a ruptured sewer pipe that opened a sink hole on Cook Street in Palm Desert will take longer than expected and will not be completed today, Wednesday Aug. 21, a Coachella Valley Water District spokeswoman tells Patch.

The sink hole, estimated 20 feet by 10 feet in size, was reported early Aug. 20 on Cook near Sheryl Avenue, according to a news release.

"The cause of the sinkhole was a break in a 33" gravity sewer line," district officials said. "It appears that sand entered the pipe through a small crack over time until the surface gave way, causing the roadway in that area to sink. The process was so gradual that the sink hole could not be predicted."

An amount of sewage described as "minimal" leaked from the pipe, but it did not leave the sink hole, district officials said.

Coachella Valley Water District crews were expected to work through Tuesday night and into Wednesday afternoon on the repairs. Water and sewer service was not being affected during the repair work, according to district officials.

Closures during the repair work project included one lane northbound and one lane southbound of Cook Street south of Sheryl Avenue and to the wash, and the northbound turn lane from Cook Street onto Sheryl Avenue, district officials said.

"Motorists are encouraged to use alternative routes or allow extra travel time if driving through the area," district officials said.

District officials on Tuesday said they hoped the work would be completed by Wednesday afternoon. But by noon Aug. 21 the district was preparing an announcement stating the work will not be finished today, Diane Carmony of the Coachella Valley Water District said in a phone interview.

The Coachella Valley Water District is billed as a public agency that provides domestic and irrigation water, agricultural drainage, wastewater treatment and reclamation services, regional storm water protection, groundwater management and water conservation. It serves about 108,000 homes and businesses across 1,000 square miles in Riverside County and portions of Imperial and San Diego counties.


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