I just heard interim DWP chief S. David Freeman say on Patt Morrison that the rash of water main breaks is all perception: the result of a quicker news cycle, bloggers and the lasting TV image of that fire truck falling in the sinkhole in the Valley. There are no more breaks than usual, he says, adding that in October there have been fewer than usual. But, he concedes, the pipes are "old as the hills" and they do break, more or less all the time.
Here's Steve Greenberg's multimedia take — I love it! More by Greenberg in the LA Sketchbook archive.