The UCLA water main burst is not the first big one—and it won't be the last.
The dramatic photos made national headlines, but the serious problem likely behind the break is just as dramatic: Los Angeles' crumbling water infrastructure. The pipe that broke was constructed in 1921, as Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted during the flood—and that's pretty old for a city pipe. The average age of a water pipe in New York City is 69 years. As of 2010, 70 percent of Los Angeles' water infrastructure was composed of cast-iron pipes, most of which were laid down during the city's expansion in the 1920s, '30s and '40s.