WOODLAND HILLS (CBSLA) – Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills Medical Center is expected to remain without running water through Thursday while crews repair an emergency water main break.
The hospital, which has been without water since Saturday night, announced Monday that normal water service will likely not return until Thursday.
“We estimate water service will resume by the end of Thursday, January 23, when our facility will return to normal operations,” Kaiser wrote on its website. “As a result, we are preparing for an outage that could potentially last several days.”
A temporary water line has been installed while the longer-term water line repair is undertaken, but it will take 48 hours to ensure the water is safe for all health care use, according to Murtaza Sanwari, the hospital’s senior vice president and area manager.
All surgeries and primary care appoints at the hospital are canceled until water service returns. While the hospital’s emergency department and urgent care center remained open, the facility was diverting ambulances from the emergency room, according to Dr. Gregory Kelman, area medical director for Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills.
About 70 patients remained at the hospital as of Monday, according to Sanwari, who said hospital officials had transferred out about two dozen patients. Pre-packaged meals have replaced regular meal service for the second straight day Tuesday.
“We have many other sister facilities and a large network available to us to support us as we continue to care for our patients and ensure they continue to receive safe care,” Sanwari said at a Monday afternoon news conference.
The water main break occurred Sunday morning on Burbank Boulevard, just west of De Soto Avenue, following a “planned water line shutdown,” the hospital said. It was not immediately clear what caused the break.
Dozens of porta-potties have since been brought in for patients to replace restrooms. A number of people told CBS2 that the use of porta-potties was a concern for patients recovering from serious medical procedures.
“She does have some wounds where they put the screws, where there’s dressing,” Mike Gutierrez Sunday, whose mother is being treated for a broken leg, told CBS2 Sunday. “A place where there’s a porta-potty…it’s very easy to catch something or for infections to grow…(I’m) outraged, confused as to why they’re making her use a porta-potty.”
All patients whose surgeries or appointments are canceled are being contacted directly by Kaiser. For those wanting to check on their appointment, they can go online to kp.org, or call 1-833-KP4CARE.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)