Water main break swallows excavator at home in Village of Santiago


A water main broke at 2 a.m. Saturday in front of 2917 Panchos Way, the home of Ricky and Cindy Lastar, in the Village of Santiao.

Cindy awoke at 4 a.m. to find a flood and whirlpool in the street. At about 11 a.m. an excavator dropped into the hole. An attempt to get it out then failed and it was realized it was sitting on power lines. When SECO arrived, they determined that those lines carried 14,400 volts so caution prevailed. At 2 p.m., they finally got the machine out.

An excavator was swallowed into a hole after a water main break Saturday in the Village of Santiago.
An excavator was swallowed into a hole after a water main break Saturday in the Village of Santiago.

Precautionary Boil Order Issued

As a result of the water main break, a boil order has been issued.

The homes impacted are as follows:

• San Leandro Villas

• 1117 – 1221 and 1118 – 1224 Santa Cruz Drive

• 1101 – 1221 and 1102 – 1224 San Bernardo

• 2901 – 2919 Panchos Way

• 1106 – 1116 Liendo Lane

As a precaution, all water used for handwashing, drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, cooking, and washing dishes be boiled briskly for one minute prior to use. All ice cubes should be discarded and only boiled water be used for making ice. As an alternative, bottled water can be used.

This Precautionary Boil Water Notice will remain in effect until the problem has been corrected and bacteriological tests show that the water is safe.

If you have any questions, you may contact District Utility Customer Service at 750-0000 during normal business hours or the Water Plant Operator at 753-1756 after hours and on weekends.



    • Sinkholes could well be a major cause, but only if the developer did not take precautions, such as testing for likely sinkhole locations. The developer might be silent on the cause of water main breaks because he does not want to increase statistics on sinkholes in this area.

  1. It is disturbing to have water main breaks on a regular basis in a new development. It seems like The Villages has more than in older cities with 100 year old pipes. In addition, I do not recall these news stories ever including an explanation by the developer as to what caused the break. I suspect one cause is spending plenty of money on appearances, and going very cheap on anything that is hidden from view.

    • No Kidding! I have been wondering the same thing. You see these stories in New York and Boston where the iron mains are very old and subject to frost heaves and the like, but 10-20 year old (or less) mains in Florida….seriously. I believe the piping used nowadays is polymer based which should mean far greater life than the old stuff. So, what IS going on?
      Probably the same high grade engineering that gave us the bridge problem at Lake Sumter.