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Ruptured stormwater pipe eroding hillside behind homes in Scripps Ranch

A ruptured stormwater pipe in Scripps Ranch worries neighbors as more of the hillside behind their homes is disappearing due to erosion.

SAN DIEGO — A ruptured stormwater pipe in Scripps Ranch worries neighbors as more of the hillside behind their homes is disappearing to erosion.

CBS 8 met with neighbors at the site off Pomerado Road to find out what could be done to fix the enormous problem.

“I’ve watched the kids ride their bikes down here, they come down with their parents, they take little snacks and come down here, and they love this trail,” said Lynne Pilsl as she led CBS 8’s Brian White down the trail behind her home.

Pilsl has lived in the Scripps Ranch neighborhood for more than thirty years, and now, she is concerned about the significant erosion happening right behind her house.

“Look at the pipe,” said Pilsl as she pointed toward an exposed stormwater pipe, which ruptured two years ago and has been eating away at the soil around it ever since. Pilsl first reached out to the City of San Diego when she noticed the problem in April 2021.

“I sent a video to them,” said Pilsl. “And now, after this storm, the whole canyon is caving in. It goes all the way down the hill.”

Pilsl’s fence line to her backyard is just up the hill from the broken pipe.

“They told me that this pipe runs through my backyard, my back gate, and through my front yard to the street, so that’s frightening,” said Pilsl.

The recent storms have aggravated the issue with more rain, runoff, and, ultimately, more erosion.

“It’s probably doubled because you couldn’t see all the pipes down there before,” said Pilsl, pointing toward the vast trench that had formed.

Pilsl contacted the City again Monday; since then, she has noticed more barricades.

“I think they came back out, and that’s when they put this caution tape up,” said Pilsl.

Jeff Pocock, Lynne’s next-door neighbor, is surprised at how big the trench has gotten.

“I didn’t think it was this bad, I haven’t been down here for several months, but it was never this big before,” said Pocock. “I don’t want to see her backyard slide down the hill.”

CBS 8 reached out to the City’s Stormwater Department, which responded with the following statement:

“The hillside is eroded due to a ruptured stormwater pipe. The City is aware of it, has inspected it, and properly marked it for safety reasons. This pipe will need replacement, and the project is currently on the ‘needs list’ awaiting funding and scheduling.”

CBS 8 also reached out to City Councilmember Marni von Wilpert’s office to help identify a funding source to schedule this project.

“I hope the city addresses this quickly and comes out here and starts fixing it,” said Pilsl.

CBS 8 will continue to follow this story.

If you have a story you’d like CBS 8 to look into, email us at workingforyou@cbs8.com.

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