Are these sinkholes a sign?

  • by BPC Staff
  • on May 13, 2016

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On Tuesday evening, a sinkhole opened up right in downtown San Francisco and nearly swallowed a vehicle. No one was hurt, but maybe this sinkhole, and the even larger sinkhole that formed last month in the Pacific Heights area, are signs that we as Californians need to start seriously considering our aging infrastructure in relation to our record-breaking drought.

Though these sinkholes are caused by broken pipes in an aging plumbing system, this issue is only going to be exacerbated by the fact that California is sinking. Due to the massive drought, the State has been relying heavily on groundwater, pumping it voraciously to feed its agricultural, industrial, and residential needs. Removing the water is causing the land to sink, otherwise called land subsidence.

The sinking may not directly cause the sinkholes like we have seen in SF, but the sinking may put more strain on old, already questionable plumbing and infrastructure. If the sinking in California causes more sewer and water lines to rupture, then we will be looking at more sinkholes all over California at the very least.

BPC and its members are working on water and infrastructure issues like these to help solve environmental issues in the Bay Area. If you and your organization are interested in working with BPC, go to our website or call the office and we would be happy to speak with you.


—”The Bay Planning Coalition is a non-profit organization well known for its advocacy and credibility in the San Francisco Bay Area corporate and environmental community. When we speak about an issue, legislators and regulators listen.”

-John A. Coleman CEO