The Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills Medical Center has been operating without running water since Sunday evening because of a water main break, and the hospital plans to have all of its patients transferred to other facilities by the end of Wednesday.
Kaiser doesn't expect to reopen until at least Saturday. Earlier, hospital officials had hoped that running water could be restored as early as Thursday.
"While a temporary water line has been installed, the facility has not been able to return to normal operations as expected," Kaiser Permanente said in a statement. "Because the timeline for restoring water at the medical center campus is now estimated to be Saturday, January 25, we have determined that the safest decision for our members, patients, physicians and staff is to temporarily close services and facilities at this location."
Crews discovered a leak at the medical center's main water line during ongoing maintenance and upgrades, the facility's senior vice president, Murtaza Sanwari, said at a news conference on Wednesday. They tried to repair the main, but the leak continued.
"We made a decision at that point to ensure the safety of our patients, our staff, and our physicians, to completely shut that down and put in a new line," said Sanwari, adding that Kaiser is working with public agencies during the ordeal.
The hospital had existing management plans to operate for 72 to 96 hours in case of an emergency, and it did so after the discovery of the leak, Sanwari told reporters.
The facility had shut down its urgent care services and emergency department by Tuesday night, according to Kaiser. Patients began being transferred to nearby medical centers.
By the end of Wednesday, Kaiser said all patient care will cease temporarily, including outpatient services. Only the medical center campus 24-hour pharmacy will remain open for prescription pickups, Kaiser said. The Northside pharmacy will be closed.
Kaiser officials said they have alerted their members and community partners of the situation.
"Once Kaiser Permanente completes all required testing of the temporary water line and it has been deemed safe, we will reopen services and resume care at our Woodland Hills Medical Center campus," the hospital said in a statement.
Officials urged those affected to visit the Kaiser location's website for the latest information. Kaiser patients can also call 1-800-464-4000 or contact the appointment line at 1-833-KP4CARE (574-2273).
The Woodland Hills facility is located at 5601 De Soto Ave. It serves about 239,000 health plan members in the San Fernando Valley and west Ventura, according to Kaiser.