LADWP sheds light on Silver Lake power outages

Power outage in Silver Lake

SILVER LAKE —  Aging equipment, severe weather and increased demand are some of the major causes for at least 16 power outages that have hit the neighborhood this year, according to the L.A. Department of Water and Power.

Agency officials showed up with charts and statistics at a Silver Lake Neighborhood Council committee meeting last week that was called in the wake of numerous blackouts that have left thousands of Silver Lake customers without power, sometimes for hours at a time.

About 70% of the outages were related to problems with underground and aboveground equipment, according to a presentation, which the council posted on its website. In response to the problems, LADWP has or will replace more than 50,000 feet of cable in the area, upgrade circuits and trim trees and vegetation.

Here are the details from the slide presentation made by LADWP officials on Sept. 5:


Silver Lake power outages

About half of the outages were related to problems with underground equipment | LADWP

More than 50,000 feet of cables have or will be replaced to improve service | LADWP

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  1. There are an awful lot of power outages considering Silver Lake is one of the premier neighborhoods of Los Angeles.

  2. I’ve tried since May to get a cluster of vines, leaves, other “vegetation” removed from overhead wires in our Echo Park neighborhood, in order to prevent them from pulling wires down. First I went to to myla311.com, who turfed the issue to DWP, who haven’t done a thing about it.

    Email from MyLA311:

    “We have received your email regarding your request. However, this matter falls within the jurisdiction of the Department of Water and Power (DWP). It is for this reason we are forwarding this request to said Department. Should you have further questions regarding this matter, please contact the DWP by dialing 311.

    Thank you,
    Bureau of Street Services”

    DWP has some of the highest-paid workers in the public sector. Their (also high-paid) management needs to concentrate more on preventative measures.

  3. I have to wonder if overtime pay is what drives this problem?

    • the electrical system failures blamed on aging DWP infrastructure are also directly linked to a long tradition of budgetary mismanagement and political malfeasance practiced at City Hall.
      Each and every year over the last 40 years, the DWP budget is closed out with a surplus of income over expenses declared for the prior 12 months.
      The Los Angeles City Council routinely approves a transfer of the DWP surplus($100 million – $250 million annually) from the DWP account into the Los Angeles City General Fund.
      This transfer is called the “sweep”.
      the “swept” funds are thus added to the monies controlled by the City Council with the Mayor’s approval.
      This allows city hall politicians use of the funds to cover-up their misuse and giveaways worth $100-$250 million during the prior 12 months.
      the cruel reality behind the annual sweep of the DWP surplus is that DWP does not produce a true surplus.
      the surplus is created artificially through a practice of deferred maintenance on DWP infrastructure.
      the surplus is produced when equipment is allowed to remain in service well past its estimated life span for reliable operation.
      every dollar of DWP surplus swept into the hands of City Hall politicians over decades adds up to billions of $$ which should have properly been spent on DWP capital infrastructure projects.
      Mayor Garcetti and his cohorts now come to the residents of Los Angeles with utlity rate hikes and proposals for new bond debts and new annual fee assessments to pay for DWP infrastructure investment urgently needed because it was delayed and delayed over decades while they happily spent the money somewhere else.

  4. How about the simple answer. The DWP cannot handle the current demand! When you demolish single family homes and build 4 to 20 units each with AC. Every hot day everyone comes home and flips on the AC and boom the power goes out. Almost all the outages occurred in the afternoon usually around 5PM . They actually asked us to turn off the AC . If you cannot handle the load don’t overbuild. Our power went out 3 days in row all on weekdays at 5PM . What next the water goes out too? I have a generator do I need to build a watertank

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