On Sunday morning at 12:45 a.m. on 5th Avenue just south of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard water spilled onto the street, causing minor damage. About 50 customers lost water supply until workers restored service about 9 a.m., according to the L.A. Times' Jack Leonard.

It's part of a rash of hundreds of breaks that have occurred since the city instituted water conservation rules that require sprinklers to be turned on only on Monday and Wednesday. There have been twice as many breaks as last year. Coincidence?

The city says yes. But outside experts are not so sure.

"Potentially it could cause a surge in flow," Richard Little, who heads the University of Southern California's Keston Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy, told the AP. "Couple that together with old brittle pipes and that's not a good recipe."

"You made a change in operations...and now you get an anomalous number of failures. To me that is an 'ah hah' moment," Little told the Los Angeles Times .

The city's water system was put in place by William Mulholland, the self-taught engineer who built the Los Angeles Aqueduct, the revolutionary, gravity-flow system of pipes and channels that carries water from mountains and valleys more than 200 miles away.

More than 7,000 miles of pipe that run under L.A.

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