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Residents Urged to Cut Water Use

Services: Rupture of a major DWP line in Valley reduces flow, affecting whole city.


All Los Angeles residents are being urged to cut water use and some residents in the San Fernando Valley were told to boil tap water Thursday after a major water line ruptured.

Crews have been working around the clock to fix a 72-inch water main that burst Wednesday in Arleta.

Because the damaged line delivers water all over the city from a major reservoir in Sylmar, all Department of Water and Power customers are being asked to conserve as much water as possible until the system is back to full strength, said Gerald Gewe, DWP assistant general manager.

"We're hoping to have all the repairs done within seven days," said Jim Yannotta, DWP assistant director for water quality. "In the meantime, we're moving water around within the city."

The boil-water order affecting about 2,000 residents in Pacoima and Arleta was lifted late Thursday after testing determined there was no danger.

Late Wednesday, the DWP warned residents of the area roughly bounded by Paxton Street, San Fernando Road, Branford Street and Canterbury Avenue not to drink untreated water. They were told to use bottled water or bring tap water to a rolling boil for at least one minute.

Thursday evening, city workers went door to door telling residents that their water was safe.

Officials said the steel pipeline that burst was constructed about 1913 and broke because of age. The problem worsened Wednesday when a nearby section of the same line collapsed while crews tried to contain the gushing water.

"It literally put a drain on the system," said DWP spokeswoman Gale Harris.

Many residents near the broken main may notice low water pressure until repairs are complete, Harris said.

The broken line sent water cascading down Woodman Avenue near Devonshire Street on Wednesday. Several hundred nearby DWP customers had no water or only a trickle coming out of their faucets, but their service was restored by Thursday, officials said.

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