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Los Angeles City Council To Consider New Water Rationing Schedule

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday was expected to consider changing the city's lawn-watering schedule in order to relieve pressure on subterranean pipes that burst last year at alarming rates.

The new schedule would allow residents at odd-numbered addresses activate sprinklers on Mondays and Thursdays and those at even-number addresses go on Tuesdays and Fridays. Genius.

It's been an only-in-L.A. saga, with sinkholes (one even half-swallowed a fire truck), street floods and damaged businesses. The Department of Water and Power, which has the highest-paid workers in the city (because to attract the best, you have to pay), couldn't figure it out and doubted the conclusion by a team of experts that the water-rationing schedule was putting pressure on the aging pipes below L.A.

If three-days-a-week watering goes into effect, odd-numbered addresses would add Saturdays to their watering schedules; even-number ones would get Sundays. If the opposite were to happen, the odd-numbered residents would drop Thursdays and the even-numbered ones would drop Fridays.

There were 101 water pipe breaks reported from July through September of 2009. The DWP originally reported that the breaks were "normal" (way to go, overpaid, taxpayer-funded public-relations people) but data later showed they represented double the usual number of breaches.

Jean-Pierre Bardet, chairman of USC's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, along with a team of experts he convened, eventually figured out that the rationing, instituted in reaction to California's drought, was to blame.

-With reporting from City News Service. Got news? Email us.