Rare Fish Killed Near Burlingame

Up to a couple hundred fish were expected to die as a result of a burst pipe near San Mateo Creek.

Dozens of fish, including rare steelhead, were killed after a drinking water pipe burst and sent thousands of gallons of chlorinated water rushing into San Mateo Creek, according to an article in the San Mateo Daily Journal.

The San Mateo Creek is just over one mile south of the Burlingame city limit.

The San Mateo Public Utilities Commission discovered the leak Saturday near Crystal Springs Reservoir, part of a drinking water system that serves 2.5 million Bay Area residents, San Mateo officials said. 

Officials said they expected at least a couple of hundred fish to die in the incident.

San Mateo Creek flows about five miles from the reservoir to San Francisco Bay. Hillsborough backs up into the resevoir on the west side of town. 

The 1932-era pipe that broke was likely corroded, but the official cause of the burst is not yet known, city officials said. 

When the pipe burst, it sent chlorinated water at 1,000-gallons per minute down a hillside and into the creek. Crews were able to slow, but not stop, the leak after several hours, and repairs to the pipe was ongoing Tuesday.

Officials said they did not expect a long-term environmental problem there as a result.

Dennis barnard February 13, 2013 at 07:08 PM
Are they going to replace the fish? Don't they eat mosquito larvae?
George Chrisman February 13, 2013 at 08:15 PM
You won't have to worry about mosquito larvae, salamanders, frogs, algae, or any living thing. That's what chlorine does. They basically wiped out the ecosystem and the food chain in San Mateo Creek, which flows all the way to the Bay near 3rd Aveneue. What a shame.


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