Crews have restored water service to about 75 households in a South Los Angeles neighborhood affected by a large water main break, but customers will still have to take precautions, officials said Monday.
The service was restored after the first round of water quality testing was satisfactory, but officials issued a boil water notice until there are satisfactory results from a second round of tests, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power officials said. Those results were expected later Monday.
Customers were notified by phone and written notices to flush their pipes before using water for any purpose by letting cold water run for about five minutes. They were also warned to expect pipes to rattle due to low water pressure and that water may appear muddy.
In addition, customers were advise to boil water for a minute then let it cool before using it to drink, brush teeth, make ice cubes, wash produce and prepare food or continue to use bottled water, which will be distributed to them, DWP officials said.
Five of the eight properties damaged by the water main break had been designated safe to access as of Sunday, and residents were given the option of returning to those homes, DWP officials said. Three residences needed clearance by the Department of Building and Safety before those residents can return.
Meanwhile, the agency continues to provide lodging and meals for residents who need housing or prefer not to return home until their water service is determined safe to drink. All displaced residents were allowed to return to their homes to get personal items and necessities on Sunday. Affected customers have been given access to bottled water and portable toilets.
DWP crews continued Sunday to make progress on street clean-up and repairs, officials said. They spent Saturday night backfilling the section of 55th Street that ruptured when the 24-inch pipe burst around 5 a.m. Friday at 55th Street and Towne Avenue, causing flooding and a large sinkhole, damaging homes and leaving some vehicles fully or partially buried in mud.
Crews shut down the flow of water shortly before 9 a.m. Friday, but not before streets, yards and driveways were flooded.
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The DWP reported that four vehicles sustained serious damage, despite the leak being substantially slowed two hours after the break was reported.
"The shutdown process for the 24-inch diameter pipe had to be done carefully so as to not damage other pipes in the area," according to an DWP statement.
Sections of 55th and 56th streets were closed to traffic between Main Street and Avalon Boulevard. Firefighters assisted some residents in getting out of their homes and past the water that flooded their driveways and yards.
"The leak has caused property damage in the area, which will be assessed by on-site claim agents," the DWP said.
Those whose vehicles were towed were directed to call US Towing at (323) 870-7100. They are located at 2119 E. 25th St. and no charge will be assessed.
Information on how affected customers can file a damage claim with DWP is available here.