LA Dept. of Water and Power Says Water Main Break Is 'Very Complex'

Jeff Bray, General Superintendent of Water Distribution, says the break is "located where two large diameter pipes come together."
13:07 | 07/30/14

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Transcript for LA Dept. of Water and Power Says Water Main Break Is 'Very Complex'
Take a look a massive water main break on -- famed Sunset Boulevard in California. It turned the UCLA campus into a scene of raging waters millions of gallons. Waste it in drought stricken Southern California. -- when I'm down Cutler in New York in -- up to ten million gallons soaking the campus parking garages and the faint Pauley Pavilion arena. Just yesterday and today. A massive sinkhole on Sunset Boulevard which is not shut down -- traffic obviously. That's is right near the campus crews fixing a 93 year old pipe it was. Established back in 1921 the repairs you -- are under way at this hour. And officials in LA are about to discuss the latest on the water main break because this. What kept us off guard if -- let's now go to this presser we will be discussing and we will be doing that. So that's the situation right now the OT will maintain a presence. In the field that throughout this this process. And if you don't have any business in the area and you live the you don't live in the area please. Do not come close to the closure. If you get telecommute it. And if you again use other means of transportation -- as it please do so. Thank you. Morning everybody my name is Jeff -- JE FFB isn't Boston. This operation that we've got going on here is a very complex. The location of the leak. Is creating. Issues for us as far as. -- location of the pipe. Normally break of this size we would just go in and cut out section of pipe and replace it real quick. But this is located where two pipes large diameter pipes come together and it's creating a lot of complexity for us. The. -- We had issues -- We reported previously that -- water had been turned off. We found that we've got a number of -- leaking crude that is complicated. Be getting access to the repair. We are currently assessing all options to get the -- -- get -- down. And out what repairs that we can make we can not begin -- -- repairs until we get. The water completely down and we're working on that. This stop this leak repair will not be completed today we're looking at it -- extended period of time at this moment in time. We are exploring all options. There is nobody currently out of water at this time the water is safe to drink. -- -- BP wants to -- fell all the other city agencies that assisted us in this operation. -- questions. We can't make any assessments at this point in time. When will not -- questions Phillies beat him. The last place. Good morning -- -- -- an assistant vice chancellor for facilities management UCLA. The campus obviously had some substantial damage yesterday -- about six facilities including two subterranean parking structures. The campus is open. -- we do have some facilities are closed today including all the the -- Selig can't activity is closed today. As is all the campus recreation activities. A determination we made later today when -- we can resume those. Similarly the -- child care centers on campus are closed. Just for today and make an assessment on that too. Crews worked throughout the night last night as you can imagine -- the water out of these facilities. And will be -- some damage assessment later today to see how soon we can get those back open. That's all we have from -- We'll take questions now -- there any questions the three speakers will be happy to answer of fire -- here in support of the operations are taking place. There's any questions about what happened yesterday what are fire department did will be more happy to answer those as well. And. Despite -- use routinely to. Take water from the stone canyon -- -- to the west end of the city and the palisades and it's pretty. -- -- -- Credible. I believe what we actually don't have anybody out of service at this time. That's due to that redundancies that we've built into our system to allow us to -- water. Different hallways throughout the city. This repair is. At the Y where thirty inch main. Comes -- at a extreme angle to a 36 inch main. So. Right where those two pieces of -- joined together is where the top of the pipe literally just lifted up and created an opening in the fight. There are 2000 we know that are leaking through at this point in time that are located east of of the leak. We are working on. Seeing if we can get more turns on those valves -- are also exploring making additional system changes. Further to the east to allow us to shut off the -- that are feeding those -- it will not operate. Yeah. And playing. I would estimate it's gotta be somewhere right under ten to fifteen feet of pipe that was my have to replace. Note the valves that are not operating aren't necessarily right there at the leak their. One of them is down the street here a couple hundred feet. East of the location and then -- was up up further up -- -- I I don't have information on that at this point in time but we will be doing we will be doing come. Sampling of the water to ensure that providing safe quality water yeah. He had dinner. 500. Yeah. While the excavation you can. That -- escalation is pretty much from curb to curb. On sunset what isn't open right this moment is damaged and will have to be removed and replaced before we can get asphalt back on the roadway. As far as any other excavations. We are exploring all options at this point in time he may have to dig a hole somewhere else to replace a valve or something along those lines we are exploring all options. Couldn't tell you at this moment in time where the best location would be for that you can. -- -- Because they can't answer that question right this moment we don't know we're exploring options on how to get the water turned on how. I can't I again -- speculate on the Nightline. I'm sorry. He's -- how much water was lost in the meantime on the water is. Being long right now we won't. -- -- I can't offer any from me any information on that this time we'll have more information available throughout the day to specific. Questions. I don't know estimate that I can do great work about -- in Austin. I can't use it. Naturally it's it's a larger -- water. That was lost. But I can't answer. Exactly -- how that's -- impact long term for the supply water. But I can -- right now for the moment we've got plenty of water -- meet the needs of the city of Los Angeles anticipate that going forward. Why did it take so long and -- currently under. Well -- what happens when a break like this occurs is there were close to thirty people -- jumped into action which could museum they were. Located throughout the city looking at maps looking at our options. Changing -- stations. Doing operations because we couldn't just shut this down. We had to look okay shutting -- down. Who is that going to -- out of water OK what can we -- provided alternate source for those people before we turn this off -- that's our number one priority is to keep people in water. But he -- yeah. -- quickly one more question. The the smaller thirty inch diameter pipe was installed in 1921 the larger 36 inch -- pipe was installed in 1956. We have had some leaks historically in the past on the 36 inch line but I'm not on the the thirty inch. I'm sorry what was the second part of the question. We do have a lot of pipes it in this I can't speculators -- what caused the -- at this time. It's where they joined together so they're both. Technically they both ruptured together. It's in that small section right. Where they joined together. I can't speculate on the cause -- this time thank you very much. Thank you very much the Los Angeles fire departments going to be leading the -- -- -- with the department of water power. Any further questions they'll be able to answer questions. Thank you -- for all of your support through yesterday because it wasn't for the media we would not have been able to manage this incident as quickly as we did he keep people safe. And avoid anyone from getting hurt at this incident so thank you all very much for coming this morning based Reuters work. -- -- So that's the latest from officials -- Los Angeles trying to get -- hold -- of this situation this is on Sunset Boulevard. Where this massive sinkhole opened up after you saw some of those -- shooting yesterday this thirty foot -- essentially all for a thirty inch water main. That broke yesterday was -- 93 year old -- You're looking at right there about 75. Thousand gallons of water a minute coming out of the ground there eventually. Flooding the UCLA campus with about. Up to. Ten million gallons. It caused damage to the famed Pauley Pavilion that -- billion just haven't -- haven't having recently undergone. About a 136. Million dollar renovation and now they are trying to get the water out of the building there dry everything out. And as you just heard from the Department of Transportation and also from the department of water and power there. They are encouraging everyone to avoid that area Sunset Boulevard that particular areas going to be shut down that's a major traffic area right -- the 405 in California there. Essentially they're saying that it's a complex repair job because it is -- two pipes intersect so it is not simply a matter of shutting off water and removing that particular piece of pipe. They've also been reported that there have been a number of -- that have been leaking presumably from the pressure that's been building up because they have had to shut up what that particular area. They have said though they've emphasized the fact that the water is safe to drink and -- they are on the scene -- trying to get everything repaired. Replaced back in place and to build open that pipeline it back up it's certainly a situation that a lot of folks and LA are having headaches from this morning now -- from the commute. But obviously all of that water damage and the clean -- that just now is beginning. You of course can keep up with this story. In real time by downloading ABC news -- and star -- -- story for exclusive updates on the go for now though. I'm down Cutler New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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