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Thanksgiving night water main break leaves customers high and dry

Cones and barriers indicate the area where a water main on Chevy Chase Drive operated by Valley Water Co. broke at around 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving. The incident left customers without water for about six hours, officials say.
(Sara Cardine / La Cañada Valley Sun)

Several La Cañada Flintridge residents found their homes without water for hours on Thanksgiving night, after a reported water main break on Chevy Chase Drive caused workers to shut off valves overnight to accommodate emergency repairs, according to water officials.

Bob Fan, general manager of Valley Water Co., said the initial calls came in sometime after 9 p.m. reporting water flowing down Chevy Chase just south of Highland Drive. It was determined a 10-inch water main had broken.

“It was basically a hole in the pipe,” Fan said, adding the cause of the damage has yet to be determined. “These things are usually hard to tell — my guess it was general wear and tear of the water main.”

A crew dispatched to repair the leak had to shut off a series of water valves to isolate the damaged section. Fan said the shut-off, and not the leak itself, is generally what homeowners notice.


Trent Sanders was sleeping in his Hampton Road home at around 11 p.m. when he heard his lawn sprinklers make an odd noise as they turned on at their appointed time.

“They made a weird chattering sound — I’d never heard that before,” Sanders said Monday. “I went out there and looked at the valves, figuring there would be water going out everywhere but there wasn’t.”

Instead, the sprinklers trickled weakly. Figuring there was no way he’d get customer service satisfaction at 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving, Sanders went to bed and fretted about the possibility of plumbing repairs in his future.

When he woke at around 5:30 a.m. the next day, he was pleasantly surprised to find his shower was working just fine.


Fan said flow was restored by around 4 a.m. Friday. The section of Chevy Chase where the workers repaired the pipe will be repaved in the coming weeks.

Twitter: @SaraCardine