The approximate location of the break.

A huge break in an 8-inch water main along Scenic Drive early this morning has left the town of Trinidad entirely mostly without water, city officials confirmed this morning.

Because off the massive loss of water from the city’s tanks, it could be several days before water service is completely back to normal in the town.

Trinidad City Clerk Gabe Adams told the Outpost this morning that city staff started noticing water levels in the tanks dropping sometime after 3 a.m. today. It took a bit for staff to locate the leak, but finally found the rupture in the main along a new crack in the ever-slipping Scenic Drive. That main serves the Trinidad Rancheria and other customers along Scenic.

By the time the city was able to shut down water delivery to the leaky main, Adams says, the city had lost as much as 70 percent of its 250,000 gallon water storage capacity.

The city and its contractor, GRS Construction, are out repairing the cracked main right now. That section of pipe had actually been replaced and repaired fairly recently, Adams said, but the geologically unstable land underneath Scenic had slipped yet again in the middle of the night, and that had ruptured the pipe.

Adams said that they’re hoping to have repairs done today. But because the town lost so much water, it’ll likely feel the effects for a few more days, at least.

Trinidad gets most of its water from Luffenholtz Creek, which is of course extremely turbid at the moment. It’s going to take time to process that water enough to refill the tanks and repressurize the town’s system. To that end — and although most of the town should see some water return soon — the city will likely be asking everyone to conserve as much as possible for the next few days, especially since that the water system is the town’s fire department’s first line of defense.