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Major water main breaks in September more than double last year

September 28, 2009 |  4:03 pm


Interactive map: Water main breaks

The number of significant water main breaks in Los Angeles this month has more than doubled compared to the same period last year, officials said today.

Since Sept. 1, the city’s Department of Water and Power has recorded 43 major breaks requiring significant repairs, officials say.  There were 21 such breaks in September 2008, 17 in September 2007 and 13 in September 2006.

Leaks and ruptures are a routine occurrence in the city’s aging pipes, officials said. The total number of breaks and leaks large and small -- 151 so far  this month -- is within the normal range, they said.

DWP typically sees about 1,400 leaks and breaks per year, about 200 of which are categorized as requiring “significant repairs,” causing street closures or requiring repairs in excess of 100 square feet, according to officials.

September’s incidents, on average, affected 25 customers for about six hours or less, officials said. Water loss has been minimal.

DWP has replaced 160,000 feet of mainline pipes in the last two years and plans to replace an additional 110,000 feet in the coming year.

The most recent significant break occurred about 6 a.m. at San Vicente Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, interrupting service to dozens of customers and causing flooding on the streets.

Service was cut off to 40 to 50 DWP customers, mainly commercial businesses, while repairs are under way, said DWP spokeswoman Maychelle Yee.

-- Victoria Kim

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