Los Angeles County water officials responded to a water leak and pump malfunction in Val Verde Friday night resulting in more than 80,000 gallons of water loss.
“We were unfortunate to lose that amount of water, especially during a time of drought,” said Kerjon Lee, Los Angeles CountyPublic Works public affairs manager. “Every drop counts but no water pressure was lost and no service was lost to the 5,200 residents that are served by Waterworks in that area.”
Los Angeles County Fire Department officials contacted Los Angeles County Waterworks officials around 8:30 p.m.
The leak occurred at the Hasley Canyon Pump Station, just a couple miles north of the city of Santa Clarita.
“Our crews went to the scene and noticed there was a malfunction in the pump,” Lee said, adding that there are two pumps at the station. “An approximately 3-foot-long drive shaft had punctured the top of the housing of the pump. That resulted in a water leak of not only water from the pump station but also sprayed water on some of our controls and communications equipment.”
Crews were able to stop the leak after a few hours but the communications system shorted out and continued to feed water into the Cuyama tanks about four miles away, he said. There are two tanks in the Cuyama area, one that hold about a million gallons of water while the second holds about 500,000 gallons. The second, smaller tank overflowed.
“That Saturday morning, we were notified by passing motorists that there was a water leak coming from the tanks,” Lee said. “Between the two incidents that were triggered by the drive shaft dislodgement, we lost about 82,000 gallons of water. We estimate 72,000 gallons at the pump station and another 10,000 gallons at the tanks.”
The amount of water lost is about how much three people would use in a year, according to the United States Geological Survey.
Crews were able to turn off the overflow pipe system manually, he said, adding that crews remain on scene to ensure the waterflow doesn’t continue without monitoring.
The communication system, which is operated by AT&T, is expected to be replaced and a new protective housing will be installed to prevent the communication system from shorting out if there is a future leak, Lee said. The cause of the malfunction has not been determined but county crews are continuing to investigate the incident.