Call in the Rocket Scientists – JPL Engineers Join Inquiry into LA’s Major Water Main Break

An LA City fire truck stuck in a sink hole caused by a broken 6" drinking water pipeline. The break follows the much larger Studio City water main break. (Credit: Flickr, Mick_O, cc)

An LA City fire truck stuck in a sink hole caused by a broken 6" drinking water pipeline. The break is 1 of about 40 "major blowouts" in the DWP's service area over the last 2 months. (Credit: Flickr, Mick_O, cc)

In the latest twist to LA’s on-going hunt for answers of major water main breaks – scientists from NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena have been called in to see if tectonic movement is causing the “major blowouts” as the DWP calls them. Overall water main breaks are down according to a spokesperson, but the number of “major” breaks is above average.

From an LA Times story

The DWP said it’s too early to determine a cause. But officials confirmed they are seeking assistance from USC, JPL and Cornell University, but declined to comment further. As part of JPL’s effort, scientists will be analyzing radar data of ground movement taken from a NASA airplane.

Engineers also stressed that the city’s 7,200 miles of pipe aren’t actually leaking more than usual — in fact, the number of leaks, about 1,400 a year, is down from the past and represents a lower rate per mile of pipe than in other cities.

 

Fram a previous post…

The Los Angeles Times has published a Google map detailing the location of the 34 water main breaks that have occurred in the area since the beginning of September. The latest is a sink hole that opened up in Venice on Sunday. In an effort to explain all of the recent water main failures, engineers are analyzing soil samples. Some are hypothesizing that a new Monday and Thursday watering schedule may be stressing the aging water system and contributing to the failures.

LAWaterMainBreaks

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