A private contractor investigating the cause of a small sinkhole at High Point Shopping Center hit an 8-inch water main Wednesday.

Businesses at the shopping center and South Kitsap High School were without water Wednesday morning, as a city of Port Orchard public works crew scrambled to repair the main, according to Mayor Tim Matthes.

A staff member at the school said the water shutdown lasted only about 20 minutes and did not disrupt the school day. Wednesday was the first day of school in South Kitsap School District.

The area around High Point and nearby Hi Joy Bowl has been problematic since 2007, when a massive sinkhole opened up during heavy rains. Nine months ago, according to the mayor, city crews repaired a small sinkhole on Hi Joy property. And on Aug. 25, another small hole caved in at the shopping center.

The cause of the new hole, as with the others, was failure of part of the city’s stormwater collection system. The network of pipes and chambers that collects runoff and sends it down to the bay is old, in some places installed many decades ago, according to Jay Cookson, the city’s public works supervisor.

Repair of the High Point sinkhole is the property owner’s responsibility, according to Cookson. But repair and maintenance of the stormwater system is the city’s job, Matthes said.

According to Kitsap Sun updated on September 10th