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LADWP releases city water-main-break report

November 17, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Another water main break occurred on the same day that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power released its report on what's been causing the rash of breaks in recent months.While Tuesday's report does point to old pipes as a factor, there is another culprit and a problem that doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

Gushing water due to a water main break has become an all too familiar site in the San Fernando Valley. It happened again Tuesday on the 1900 block of Hart Street in Winnetka. The break was minor compared to others, but the problem persists.

"This was the story. It was no deal for us until we lost our business," said Toros Deurdunian, a Studio City business owner.

Deurdunian owns a filling station on the corner of Coldwater Canyon Avenue and Ventura Boulevard. Things are back to normal, but it was a far different story on Sept. 5, after a 54-inch water main burst, sending thousands of gallons of water into streets, businesses and homes.

"The pipes are essentially old pipes and since then, nothing has been done," said Deurdunian.

In a report released Tuesday, the DWP says that old corroding pipes are largely to blame for the dozens of water main breaks in recent months. However, that's not the only issue. The DWP also points to the lower Franklin Reservoir, which was unusually full and which increased water pressure in certain areas.

The report states: "A cluster of leaks in late July through mid-August coincided with an increase in the reservoir elevation at the lower Franklin Reservoir and an increase in static pressure of about four pounds per square inch."

But that's cold comfort to Deurdunian, who says the most recent break forced him to close for a week, costing him more than $150,000 in revenue.

"I told them that, you know, 'Well, what's going to happen to all the money we are paying to you people? Where is it going?'" asks Deurdunian.

Many Studio City residents say that they are very frustrated with the DWP. They say they have not been forthcoming with answers when it comes to fixing homes in this area. There have been two community meetings so far, and more are planned in the future.


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