The Chicago Department of Water Management (DWM) has completed replacing water main infrastructure on Wells Street between 51st and 53rd Streets in Bronzeville.
“Decisions about which sections of the City’s water main need to be replaced are based on the age of the infrastructure as well as its repair and maintenance history,” according to DWM spokesperson Megan Vidis. “Ensuring that every community continues to have access to high quality drinking water delivered by a reliable, efficient water system is the goal of the Chicago Department of Water Management. The water main replacement project on Wells between 51st and 53rd Streets started in August and was completed in October, with restoration” of street infrastructure completed shortly thereafter.
DWM has been replacing 90 miles of water mains and 22 miles of sewer mains as well as lining an additional 42 miles of sewer mains over the last several years. Through this capital improvement program DWM “has created many good paying jobs across the City,” Vidis added.
“City government has been aggressively replacing many of the old water mains across Chicago,” said Alderman Pat Dowell (3rd Ward). “Some of these mains are over 100 years old. The Wells Street replacement project makes the delivery of water to my constituents more efficient and is an example of their hard taxpayer dollars at work.”
The cost of water for the average family of four nearly tripled between 2007 and 2018, with most of the increase coming during the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
The City’s water supply network and system uses a combination of engineered hydrologic and hydraulic components. Lake Michigan provides the sole source of City drinking water.
Several water crib structures house and protect offshore water, which the City collects and transports through tunnels located about 200 feet beneath the lake. From there, the system moves water to one of two water purification plants located on shore. After treating the water, those plants channel it to all areas of Chicago as well as 118 suburbs to supply private houses and multi-unit buildings as well as industrial, commercial, and institutional establishments and other usage points such as fire hydrants.
The City’s sewer system operates separately from the water supply system.
For more information, log on to https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/water.html or call (312) 744-4420. For Ald. Dowell’s office, call (773) 373-9273.