2 Replies to “5 Water Main Breaks in a Week”

  1. “That makes five six”?

    Since when? Since you started paying attention?

    LADWP says it averages 1400 supply-main leaks and breaks a year, about 200 of which are large enough to garner media attention. That’s an average of about three to four breaks a day, with about four a week being newsworthy.

    Only one of the five reported breaks that’ve made the news since the Franklin Canyon trunkline rupture on Coldwater was really big enough to warrant much media attention – and that mostly because some poor fireman accidentally drove his truck into the resulting sinkhole.

    So, really, this is pretty much normal. Business as usual. The only thing that’s unusual is that, suddenly, since the big trunkline rupture, every blogger in town gets excited every time a pipe breaks somewhere.

    Water supply mains are generally expected to last about 60-100 years. An awful lot of LA’s water-supply system is just now reaching that age – the LA aqueduct, which triggered the massive expansion of the city of LA’s territory, as everybody and his brother annexed themselves to LA to share in the aqueduct water, was completed almost a hundred years ago.

    The Franklin Canyon trunkline was a riveted iron pipe installed in 1914 to connect the reservoir at the aqueduct’s terminus in Sylmar to the city supply reservoir in Franklin Canyon. It was already scheduled for replacement, but the replacement crews hadn’t quite gotten to that section yet.

    And sixty years takes us back to the post-WWII expansion that was the biggest construction boom in LA’s history.

    This is really a non-story. Routine maintenance in a city the size of LA.

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