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Another Day, Another DWP Pipe Blowout: Miracle Mile Edition

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Photo by Jezz via Flickr

Photo by Jezz via Flickr
No definitive cause to the growing number of blowouts yet, but south of the Miracle Mile this morning was the next area added to a list that has topped 30 for this month alone. Around 6 a.m. a water main burst, flooding the streets and cutting off service to 40 to 50 LADWP customers. This comes after bursts in Encino and Hollywood Hills over the weekend. The worst two occurred at the beginning of this trend in early September when a Studio City neighborhood was flooded and a Valley Village sinkhole sucked in half a fire truck. DWP officials say of the 1,400 average breaks and leaks that occur annually, some 200 are considered major, but that average number will go up if this month's pattern persists.

As for one theory to why we're having more water main breaks than usual, some say the recent water conservation laws are to blame. "A prominent USC engineering scholar has theorized that the water rules themselves may be responsible," LAObserved blogger Kevin Roderick said on his Friday KCRW segment. "He argues that by shifting demand to Mondays and Thursday, the city's aging pipes may be enduring new stresses. It sounds far-fetched, and Nahai says there's no evidence of the flow rates changing enough to cause ruptures. But that means the DWP has no good explanation, so a team from USC, JPL and Cornell has been put on the case."