LA city leaders to monitor DWP water line replacement

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Los Angeles Department of Water and Power officials will report to the city’s political leaders about water mains after two major pipe ruptures in Studio City and Valley Village. KPCC’s Molly Peterson reports.

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has asked utility officials to explain why the water lines failed. They’ve said the ruptures seem unrelated. The larger one that broke under Coldwater Canyon Avenue on Saturday will re-route traffic through Friday.

The Department of Water and Power has been replacing arteries for the water delivery system. A top utility official told local news that those plans are behind schedule. Halfway through a 10-year program, DWP has spent a little less than $200 million on replacing nine miles of pipes.

The department plans to spend seven times that amount in the next five years to replace more. Higher water rates are paying for that work. L.A., like other cities, also seeks federal support for infrastructure replacement.

City council members including Paul Koretz, who represents the areas around the recent big breaks, say they want to make sure the DWP is working where repairs are needed most.

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