Even with three burst water mains causing mayhem in the past two weeks, Santa Barbara city staff contend they’re not seeing an unusual spike in problem pipes. Public Works official Cathy Taylor said there are, on average, 60-80 burst mains a year. Thus far, there have been only 53. “I think people are more sensitive because of the drought,” she suggested. Taylor said 44 percent of the city’s water mains ​— ​ranging from two inches in diameter to 36 ​— ​are made of poor-quality cast iron, having been installed in the boom time of the 1950s and 1960s.


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