Is A Broken Water Pipe The Work Of Metal Thieves? - FOX 13 News

Is A Broken Water Pipe The Work Of Metal Thieves?

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West Hills, CA -

(FOX 11) The 7000 block of Valley Circle Dr. in the West Hills area can be a busy place during rush hour. But, around 4am it was water, not cars, filling the street. A 2 inch pipe that feeds irrigation in the median of Valley Circle near Highlander had become a geyser. Firefighters were dispatched. They couldn't shut the valve off. Then DWP workers came out. They had trouble too. They ended up closing off the main on the street to turn the big geyser into a little gusher. Turning off the main, they told me, wouldn't cut off water to any of the surrounding homes. It would just stop the main from feeding the irrigation line.

The bigger question was how did it break? LA has 7200 miles of water pipe that moves some 600 million gallons of water every day. Was it an aging pipe? After all, there are lots of them! Workers said it didn't look like it. They've been having lots of little breaks from metal pipe thieves. People that steal copper and other pipe to sell for cash. Because the above ground part of the piping (the input, output and pressure regulator) were gone. It looked like thieves at work.

We checked the cost of a pressure regulator at a big hardware store. It was $449. There is value in the pipes and equipment that move our water. And, police tell me it's not just water pipes in the road these creeps take. One cop told me they'll hit vacant schools and businesses too to steal stuff that can be converted to cash at a scrap metal yard or some place willing buy it.

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