WESTWOOD—A water main broke near the campus of UCLA on Tuesday, July 29. The cause of the break was from a 30-inch, 90-year old riveted steel pipe that transports water in the region to a high velocity from Upper Stone Canyon Reservoir, according to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
The break took place at around 3:39 p.m. near 10463 West Sunset Blvd. Crews from the LADWP have been working to turn off three large valves as soon as possible and safely. Motorists and residents are advised to avoid the area as crews work to fix the problem. The break is problematic because if not shut off safely it could lead to additional ruptures of other pipes in the area.
The flow of water through the pipe when it’s operational is estimated at 75,000 gallons per minute.
Crews continued to work on repairing the water main break on Wednesday. The estimated amount of water lost from the break is 8-10 million gallons. The LADWP serves over 500 million gallons of water each day to its customers.
There were no reports of injuries from the water main break, but it did create problems throughout the UCLA campus. The water caused significant flooding to the Pauley Pavilion where the UCLA basketball teams play.
At around 5 p.m. flooding damaged parking structures 4 and 7, the Arthur Ashe Student Health and
Wellness Center, J.D. Morgan Center, Acosta Center and John Wooden Center, as well as the North Atlantic Field, intramural field and Bruin Plaza. Some cars were trapped in parking structures 4 and 7, and patrons are advised to not go to the parking structures or surrounding areas. Instead they should visit the following link http://www.sustain.ucla.edu/flood/.
UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block released the following statement on Tuesday, “Buildings and operations related to our academic enterprise, residence halls and the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical
Center have been unaffected. The campus will remain open and classes will be held on Wednesday; however, UCLA summer camps and the Fernald and Krieger child care centers will be closed.”
“Unfortunately, Pauley Pavilion took quite a bit of water,” said Chancellor Block during an evening news conference that aired live on Los Angeles television.
Athletic Director Dan Guerrero issued the following statement Tuesday night, “We are still gathering information and, to the extent possible, assessing the damage to our athletic facilities affected by the water main break. Regarding specific inquiries and concerns about Pauley Pavilion, most people are aware by now that the floor and locker rooms sustained significant flooding. The water will be removed from the floor tonight. We will then reassess the situation tomorrow morning and be able to provide additional information at the appropriate time.”
Traffic detours in the area include: Westbound on Sunset should go south on Beverly Glen then west on Wilshire Boulevard then back north on Veteran/Sepulveda to get around the closure. Eastbound traffic should head south on Veteran/Sepulveda then east on Wilshire Boulevard, then head north on Beverly Glen. For access into UCLA Campus please use Westwood Boulevard.
The LADWP tweeted the following on July 30, “Ruptured Sunset BV pipe & the “Y” juncture of 2 trunk lines where rupture occurred-makes this a very complex job.” Crews worked on repairing the pipe Wednesday and are preparing to use a balloon plug to stop water flow.