BEVERLY HILLS (CBSLA) – Beverly Hills residents were being asked to continue to conserve water as work to repair a leak in a 77-year-old water main is expected to be complete by Christmas Eve.

Dec. 17, 2018. (CBS2)

The leak was first detected Dec. 14 at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and North Alpine Drive in the major 32-inch cast iron pipeline known as the Santa Monica Feeder, but did not develop into a full-blown water main break until Dec. 17. The pipeline belongs to the Metropolitan Water District and is the primary source of water for the Beverly Hills area.

MWD crews have been working around the clock to repair the leak, which could be complete by Monday, Dec. 24, the city reported in a news release Thursday. After repairs are complete, the pipeline needs to be inspected and disinfected before going back into service, the city said.

There was still no word on the cause of the leak.

In the meantime, the city has asked residents and businesses to continue conservation efforts by not doing any outdoor watering, and following other water-saving measures. The conservation order has been in effect since Monday.

All of eastbound Sunset Boulevard and one westbound lane remains closed between Rexford and Alpine drives. Northbound Alpine Drive is closed between Lomitas Avenue and Sunset Boulevard.

The Santa Monica Feeder was built in 1941 and runs 24 miles from Eagle Rock to Santa Monica. It provides treated water to five cities along its route.

Beverly Hills has made up for the loss of the feeder pipeline by increasing its water supply through a “water system interconnection” from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

“We are very grateful to our residents and businesses who heeded our call to reduce their water use during this emergency,” Beverly Hills Mayor Julian A. Gold said in a statement.

For information on the leak, call the Beverly Hills Public Works customer service line at 310-285-2467.

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