MURRIETA ( — Some Murrieta residents were without water Tuesday after a water main broke, creating a 20-foot-wide sinkhole on a busy street.

Officials from the Rancho California Water District said the pavement collapsed when a leaky air valve caused a water main to break and the asphalt to buckle at California Oaks Rd between Jackson and Monroe Ave.

The incident took place early Tuesday morning. Officials said they were able to intervene before any cars drove into the hole.

But for local restaurant owner Joe Mason, losing water meant a lost day of business.

“Having your water off all day means the doors are locked all day,” said Mason.

Across the street, an estimated 40 residents at the Crescent Heights Apartments woke up to find their water turned off.

“It’s unsanitary,” said resident Brenda Consentino, who said she was not able to cook or shower.

Water officials worked to patch the 24 inches of broken pipe and repave 300 feet of warped asphalt Tuesday.

They hope to have the $250,000 repair completed in the next couple of days.


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