Earthquakes can cause significant damage to San Francisco’s aging water main pipes and potable water distribution systems, which could lead to severe loss of water supplies. To prevent this, the SFPUC is installing high-tech earthquake-resistant ductile iron pipes in key parts of the city to safeguard critical water distribution pipes against the potential destructive impacts of large-scale earthquakes.
The SFPUC previously installed earthquake resistant pipe in San Francisco as part of SF Public Works Potrero Roadway Improvement Project when several feet were installed on streets surrounding San Francisco General Hospital. Currently 3,900 more feet of that piping is being installed along 22nd Street between Hampshire and Valencia Streets, which will safeguard the hospital’s water supply during a major earthquake.
In the coming months the SFPUC will install thousands of more feet of high-tech earthquake resistant ductile iron pipes (Manufactured by Kubota Corporation) in critical parts of the City to safeguard the water system.
The Kubota Corporation, a manufacturer focused on water and environment systems, as well as farm and industrial machinery, based out of Osaka, Japan, has been providing earthquake-resistant pipes throughout the island nation since 1974. Now, it’s implementing its cutting-edge technology in San Francisco. Kubota is providing formal on-the-job training – both in the field and in the classroom. According to Kubota, the company’s earthquake resistant pipes have withstood a variety of major quakes recorded above magnitude 6.0, including the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake reaching magnitude 9.0, with no documented damages or leaks occurring over the last 40 years.
San Francisco has many pipelines that are over 100 years old and have reached the end of their useful life. The earthquake resistance pipes are made to withstand the seismic movements caused by earthquakes and other natural disasters. Installing earthquake resistant piping at key points of the water system will allow SFPUC crews to respond to smaller water main pipe breaks neighborhoods and restore water for residents and businesses much faster during a seismic event.