LOS ANGELES (February 03, 2023) – The increase in water main breaks that has caught the media’s attention over the past day are part of a normal seasonal uptick in main breaks that LADWP experiences in its water distribution system due to extremely cold water temperatures in the pipes.
January is when extremely cold water starts to enter our water distribution system.
The change in temperature in the water passing through the pipes causes the pipes to contract and in some cases cause pipe breaks. These breaks are in some cases more dramatic than pipe leaks we experience other times of the year.
On average, LADWP experiences about 3 to 4 water main breaks per day in its 7,340 mile water distribution system in the City of LA. Despite this, the rate of main breaks we experience in LA of 16.8 leaks per 100 miles is far better than the national average of 25 leaks per 100 miles.
LADWP has a water infrastructure replacement plan and actively replaces water mains throughout the year to ensure continued water reliability. In Fiscal Year 21/22, we replaced 195,000 feet of mainline, exceeding our goal. In the current fiscal year, we are on track to replace another 210,000 feet of mainline pipes.
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