UCLA wades through damages from pipe flooding

first_imgLOS ANGELES — The rupture of a nearly century-old water main that ripped a 15-foot hole through Sunset Boulevard and turned a swath of the University of California, Los Angeles into a mucky swamp points to the risks and expense many cities face with miles of water lines installed decades ago.Much of the piping in the country dates to the first half of the previous century, with some installed even before Theodore Roosevelt was in the White House.Age can take a toll. There are 240,000 breaks a year, according to the National Association of Water Companies. a problem compounded by stress from an increasing population and budget crunches that slow the pace of replacement.The group says 45 percent of water pipes in the U.S. are in poor shape, and the average age of a broken water main is 47 years.In Los Angeles, a million feet of piping has been delivering water for at least 100 years, officials say.When taps are running and swimming pools are brimming, no one pays attention to water lines, typically invisible underground.But with the passage of time the country has reached a point where vast amounts of piping is wearing out at about the same time, said Greg Kail of the nonprofit American Water Works Association.last_img read more