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Report Suggests Reservoir Could be Cause of Water Main Breaks

A partial view of a chart showing blowouts (orange) and leaks (yellow) | Image via LADWP
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So why have so many water main breaks and leaks in the past few months? If you look at the above chart, it appears that there is nothing unusual other than the attention given to them. Nevertheless, the public pressure is on and rightfully so.

The LADWP today released a preliminary investigation report (.pdf), which indicates that recent water main breaks and leaks could be connected to the elevation of water at Lower Franklin Canyon Reservoir and the resulting pressure. Additionally, the nearby trunk line break that caused major flooding in Studio City may have accelerated the number of pipe breaks in the city, according to the LA Times.

Also this, from the report: "Physical examination of pipe samples removed by leak repair crews and review of available pipe condition data revealed that the failed pipe sections were corroded and deteriorated. And this: "Corroded and deteriorated pipe is susceptible to breaks when subjected to minor increases in pressure.

As the theory of the new watering restrictions causing breaks, the reports says there is "no evidence that pressures increased as a result of watering restrictions" and "no clear correlation between watering days and the occurrence of main break." However, the department awaits the results of reports from USC and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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