Water rationing plan tweaked to cut back on water main leaks

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Water and power commissioners in Los Angeles are sending a new water rationing plan to the LA city council as the city attempts to cut back on water use - and on water main breaks.

Last month a blue-ribbon team of scientists reported to an LA city council committee that strain from the watering schedule contributed to last year's rash of ruptures. Sprinklers running on Mondays and Thursdays lowered water pressure in the pipes. On other days, the higher pressure stressed the cast iron.

The new plan would spread the pressure over more days. Houses with odd numbered addresses would still run sprinklers on Mondays and Thursdays. On the other side of the street, even numbered addresses would do their watering on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Department of Water and Power managers support the plan - though they blame the frequency of breaks on one catastrophic break. DWP is planning to do extensive outreach to tell homeowners about the new new watering schedule.

The city council must approve the plan to put it in place.