An estimated 100,000 gallons of water was lost Friday morning after a vehicle took out a fire hydrant in Valencia in an early morning single-vehicle crash.
The incident marks at least the third time this year that a sheared fire hydrant has resulted in the loss of thousands of gallons of water.
More than 400,000 gallons of water was wasted in three broken hydrant incidents – enough water to serve a single family in the Santa Clarita Valley for at least two and a half years.
The most recent incident happened shortly after 5:30 a.m. Friday on the 27700 block of Avenue Scott, between Avenue Kearney and Avenue Stanford.
The hydrant, privately owned by Wesco International, proved difficult to fix.
“The property owner representative had difficulties turning off their valves to isolate their hydrant, therefore the fire department closed the main fire valve to the building complex,” Ken Petersen, general manager for Valencia Water Company said.
“VWC personnel at the site estimated the water ran for one hour,” he said. “We estimate 100,000 gallons flowed out of the damaged fire hydrant before it was shut off.”
About 200,000 gallons were lost in a similar incident last month when a sheared hydrant sent a column of water shooting into the air on Ruether Avenue between Soledad and Santa Clara Streets, north of Soledad Canyon Road.
It took firefighters 15 minutes to shut the water off.
And, on Apr. 6, about 100,000 gallons were lost when a hydrant was severed by a truck on Newhall Ranch Road at Grandview Drive, in Valencia, Petersen said at the time.
Water wasted as a result of traffic collisions in the three incidents reported was enough to fill more than 4,000 average-sized bathtubs.
In official water terms, the water lost amounts to 1.228 acre-feet of water, enough to flood a football field with a foot of water.
If a family had to pay for the water that was lost in the three incidents, it would owe between $1,200 and $1,800, depending on which SCV water purveyor provides their water.
Here’s how it breaks down.
Santa Clarita Valley’s three main water retailers measure the amount of water consumed in terms of “units.”
A unit of water is 100 cubic feet, likely appearing on your bill as ccfs. It’s also measurable as 748 gallons.
The average household bill, using the measure of 17 units – or 12,716 gallons – used per month, calculates out to $40.38 for Valencia Water Company customers; $54.59 for Santa Clarita Water Division customers, and $60.46 for Newhall County Water District customers, according to rates assessed in March 2016.
Paying for two and a half year’s worth of water works out to roughly to between $1,200 and $1,800.
At Friday’s incident, firefighters with the Los Angeles County Fire Department spent more than an hour and 20 minutes trying to stop the water loss, a Fire Department spokesman said.
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