Patt Morrison for April 14, 2010

The cast-irony of it all: conservation is the cause of water main breaks

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David McNew/Getty Images

A fire truck was trapped in a sink hole last Fall caused by a water main break

Remember all those 101 water main breaks last year? A city report released yesterday found they were caused by the city's water conservation program, which limited the use of sprinklers to Mondays and Thursdays and ultimately put too much pressure on the city's aging, cast iron pipes when water pressure would suddenly increase and then drop on certain days. That’s not to say conservation is to blame, but the findings leave some big questions as to how the city will rework its conservation plan. Patt talks with the Department of Water and Power and the lead researcher on the study about some of the alternatives, which so far include plans to require homes with even-number addresses to conserve on even-numbered days and odd-numbered addresses to conserve on odd-numbered days.


Jim McDaniel, assistant general manager of Los Angeles DWP Water Systems

Jean-Pierre Bardet, chair & professor of civil engineering at the USC Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

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