Yesterday, a water main broke at UCLA, causing flooding and the tremendous waste of drought-era CA’s scarcest resource, water.
The rupture of the 90-year-old main sent a geyser shooting 30 feet in the air and deluged Sunset Boulevard and UCLA with 8 million to 10 million gallons of water before it was shut off more than three hours after the pipe burst, city officials said.
The water main ruptured shortly before 3:30 p.m. in the 10600 block of Sunset Boulevard, fire officials said, sending a geyser shooting 30 feet in the air. The main, which delivers 75,000 gallons a minute, was finally shut down about 7 p.m., officials said.
But by then, Sunset Boulevard and UCLA had been deluged. Sunset was closed in both directions from Marymount Place to Westwood Plaza, snarling traffic.
Thousands of gallons of water trapped five people in their cars as they tried to drive out of the flood zone, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
Water was seen inside the J.D. Morgan Center, which houses athletic staff and administration offices, the George Kneller Academic Center, UCLA’s Athletic Hall of Fame and the John Wooden Center.
Water pipes are precisely the kind of critical infrastructure the government always worries will be vulnerable to hackers or (because water is pretty low tech) terrorists.
But it’s likely neither of those had a hand in this break. Simple neglected infrastructure did.
And yet that — our crumbling infrastructure that results in the waste of millions of gallons of water during an acute drought — doesn’t get the same kind of urgent attention. It’s okay, it seems, for neglect to lead to such catastrophes on its own, just not if hackers or terrorists help such catastrophes along.