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18 Feb, 2015 19:05

Cars submerged as pipe burst floods Hollywood Hills (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Cars submerged as pipe burst floods Hollywood Hills (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

A water main break sent 100,000 gallons of water flooding into the Hollywood Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles early Wednesday morning, engulfing cars and destroying property.

Marty Adams, water systems manager for the LA Department of Water & Power, described the break as “unfortunate but not a disaster.” He told the LA Times the cast-iron pipe that broke was installed in 1926, and had not leaked for the past 10 years.

LADWP PIPE LEAK: Cast iron pipe has leaked at least 100,000 gallons, officials say. pic.twitter.com/NzHVBrvD94

— Matt Stevens (@ByMattStevens) February 18, 2015

DWP officials said last year that water main leaks and breaks occurred on average three times a day across Los Angeles. Hollywood Hills has had 48 pipe leaks between January 2010 and December 2014.

Owner of the Buick to the right is definitely not going to work in Culver City today, he says. pic.twitter.com/g59lJkdudP

— Sarah Parvini (@ParviniParlance) February 18, 2015

Damage has been localized, but it could take up to 15 hours to stop the leak, said Adams. “This is an indication of what’s going on in an aging city.”

According to a Los Angeles Timesinvestigative report published Monday, approximately one-fifth of LA’s water pipes were laid before 1931, and nearly all will need replacing in the next 15 years, at a cost of over $1 billion.

There are 435 miles of deteriorating water mains that need to be changed; about 6.5 percent of the 6,730-mile network. The cost of replacing the failing pipes by 2025 has been estimated at $1,34 billion. To reach that goal, the DWP would have to spend $135 million annually; the current average is $44 million.

LA under water without a life raft http://t.co/DfFsKoNKoS

— Steve Lopez LA Times (@LATstevelopez) February 18, 2015

Securing the funds might be a problem, though, as the DWP is still recovering from a billing scandal which occurred late in 2013.Frequent pipe failures come as California is facing the biggest drought “in at least 1,200 years”, according to a paper recently published in the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters by Daniel Griffin and Kevin J. Anchukaitis.

Another LA water main break during the worst drought in 100 yrs. The trials and tribulations of aging infrastructure! http://t.co/fBvUgH8oft

— Stephanie Castle (@WaterCastles) February 18, 2015