LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Officials have blamed aging infrastructure as the primary factor in a sharp rise in the number of water main breaks across Los Angeles, but new data shows some neighborhoods may be worse off than others.
KNX 1070’s Margaret Carrero reports in the past four years, there have been more than 500 water main breaks in the Hollywood Hills and Hollywood, accounting for 10 percent of all breaks citywide.
A Los Angeles Times report citing data from the Department of Water and Power (DWP) indicates that pipes located along the west end of the Hollywood Hills may be nearing the end of their life span.
Martin Adams, the DWP’s director of water operations said replacing pipes in hillside areas can pose a real challenge.
“Those are some of the most difficult replacements, because there’s not that many access points for the residence,” said Adams. “Those are tough jobs to do, but ones that we know that we have coming up to face us.”
About 5,200 pipe leaks in all have been reported by the DWP since 2010, according to data cited by The Times.
Other areas with a disproportionately high number of leaks include Westwood, Woodland Hills, Silver Lake, Venice, and Beverly Grove, according to The Times. Officials estimate more than 400 miles of pipeline pose the greatest risk of breaking.
Under the DWP’s current plan, upgrades to the city’s water main system could take 300 years, which could mean water rate increases may not be far off.
Some Hollywood Hills residents like Derek seem willing to pay more if it mean fewer interruptions to their water service.
“If that’s the last resort, you know, before we’re all out of water,” he said.