Crews are being chastised for a lack of quick action after a 30-inch pipe burst sent 10 million gallons of water across campus.
The latest water main break at the University of California-Los Angeles is being called another black eye for L.A.’s aging water system. Perhaps it’s easy to lay blame on the archaic infrastructure — much of it dates back to the 1920s — but is there a simple solution? According to the LA Times, the answer is yes — blame crew workers.
A 30-foot geyser shot in the air when the 30-inch, 90-year-old mainline broke, sending 8 million to 10 million gallons of water across Sunset Boulevard and the UCLA campus before it was shut off three hours later.
Check out this video Associated Press posted:
The city’s water main break problem has been going on since at least 2009 when a series of breaks wreaked havoc on Studio City and a sinkhole created by a leak swallowed a fire truck. Some 7,200 miles of pipe weave their way under 500 square miles of the city, and move about 600 million gallons of water each day.
Water and mud inundated athletic fields and university pavilions, and news outlets report that at least five people were trapped in cars near the college campus after the massive water main break. The famed Pauley Pavilion — hit with the brunt of damage — got a $136 million facelift in 2012.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power employees are now in the hot seat about how fast — or slow — they arrived on the scene to battle the network of valves to stop the flood.
In the article, Jim McDaniel, a DWP senior assistant general manager, criticized rush-hour traffic for the reason crews were not on the scene sooner.
City officials are still trying to determine what caused the 30-inch-diameter pipe to burst. Lucky for students, UCLA classes are still a go for today.
How dare the public openly chastise water crews for a — slight — delay in their arrival, in one of the nation’s biggest traffic-choked cities.
Let’s be serious. A complete overhaul of the country’s failing and outdated water infrastructure, while unthinkably expensive, would be a great end all-be-all, but it’s nowhere near feasible.
Without getting preachy, is it time to find a voice and tell city officials and public cynics to stop pointing the finger at crews who have minimal resources and still must battle with mainstream operational snags, like traffic?