On Tuesday, July 29th, a major event occurred near the UCLA, which was the failure of a 30-inch water line. The resulting flood damaged the new basketball floor at Pauley Pavilion. It is reported that firemen used inflatable rafts to assist in saving people trapped in various buildings due to the rising flood waters.
Since I am not a fan of the smart meter installation process, I recalled a news item I read dealing with the installation of at least 52,000 smart meters in and around the UCLA area as a part of The Smart Grid Regional Demonstration Project, or Smart Grid L.A. The project installation, or smart meter installation, would be around three areas which are UCLA, USC and Chatsworth. The project is the result of a $60 million federal grant and the Cal/Tech Jet Propulsion Lab kicked in another $60 million.
Personally I think some of that grant money should be used to assist in the clean-up from this flood disaster.
The question at hand is why in the world did the Department of Water and Power (DWP) believe that a system of water pipes which were at least 90 years old around UCLA, could stand the constant increase and decrease in water due to its documented demand? When the smart water meter would indicate an increase in the volume of water was due to demand, more water would flow through those old pipes, then when the metering system said enough is enough, the volume would reduce.
The constant increase and decrease in the volume of water resulted in an expansion and contraction of the water pipe system ending in the blowout which was experienced.
The DWP is now accepting claims for damages, as they have a website established for this purpose. Please note that the DWP is not accepting liability, but will review the claims.
As a Claims Adjuster who has been involved in flood claims in the past, be aware that the DWP may not want to reimburse you at current prices for something you lost in the flood. Depreciation will no doubt be applied against any replacement cost price for the articles that were destroyed.
I would have to say that all of the money that was put on the table by the federal government and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory was just too much to pass up for the Department of Water and Power. Some of that money should have been put to use to determine if the water lines under UCLA, USC and Chatsworth were up to the task. If I was on any governing board at USC, I would be very concerned at this moment about the condition of the water lines under my university.
It would do well for the governing board at the Department of Water and Power in Los Angeles to remember this one point, “you cannot put new wine into old wineskins.”