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Crews working to repair Van Nuys water main break

November 2, 2009 |  2:15 pm

Watermainbreakvannuys
A full shutdown is expected shortly of a water main that ruptured today in Van Nuys, unleashing a geyser three stories high at the corner of Van Nuys Boulevard and Sherman Way.

Los Angeles Fire Department and Department of Water and Power officials were on the scene shortly after the 10:42 a.m. rupture. The nearly 20-foot geyser was soon reduced to a steady flow of water rising through the hole in the street.

No injuries or evacuations were reported but the street was flooded, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott. TV news coverage showed water shooting from the street well above a nearby one-story building. No damage was reported.

It was the latest in a string of major water main leaks in the Los Angeles area. Officials have attributed the problem to the city's aging water system, but the cause of today's rupture was unclear. The agency was investigating, DWP spokeswoman Gale Harris said.

The DWP originally reported that a 54-inch iron pipe ruptured, but officials have since learned it was an 8-inch connecting pipe, she said. It did not appear that the 54-inch pipe, known as a “purple pipe" that carries recycled water for irrigation and industrial purposes, was damaged.

The break was not expected to interrupt regular water service to DWP customers, Harris said.

Eastbound traffic along Sherman Way remained closed. Two westbound lanes on Sherman Way were open, as were all lanes on Van Nuys Boulevard.

-- Baxter Holmes

Photo: Moses Guardado watches as a geyser from a water main break towers over the corner of Sherman Way and Van Nuys Boulevard. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

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