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Mini-Quakes to Blame for Water Main Ruptures?

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The steady stream of water main breaks may be about not only our infrastructure collapsing, but also shifting tectonic plates, reports the Los Angeles Times. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is looking into whether a rash of minor earthquakes may be causing the mains to bust open. Andrea Donnellan, a geophysicist at JPL, confirmed there's been a change in normal ground movement as of late, but added it's unlikely that the shaking is the main reason water mains are exploding. The main theory is that the city's decision to allow sprinklers only on Mondays and Thursdays, which leads to surges of water that tax the aging pipes (the main that broke on Coldwater Canyon Boulevard was close to a 100 years old), is the culprit. Regardless, it'll take months before the JPL figures out anything concrete. If it's actually earthquakes to blame (as opposed to governmental failings), maybe homeowners' insurance policies will cover some of that water damage—eh, probably not.
· Ground Motion Examined in LA Water Main Breaks [LA Times]
· Water Main Breaks Still a Mystery [Curbed LA]