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Boil order lifted for parts of 3 Chicago Far South Side neighborhoods after water main break

Boil order lifted in parts of 3 Chicago South Side neighborhoods
Boil order lifted in parts of 3 Chicago South Side neighborhoods 00:25

CHICAGO (CBS) —The City of Chicago has lifted a boil order for three Far South Side neighborhoods Thursday morning after a water main broke Tuesday night.

City officials issued the order for parts of Beverly, Morgan Park, and Auburn Gresham and up to 60,000 residents were impacted. 

A leak on a high-pressure water main inside the Roseland Pumping Station impacted the pressure in the three neighborhoods between 7:30 and 11 p.m., the city said.

Workers repaired the water main but the order was precautionary.

Buildings and homes located east of Sacramento Avenue, north of 119th Street, west of I-57, south of 87th Street, and southwest of Beverly Avenue were under the boil order.

"I'm scared to drink the water," said Sharon Cain, a South Side resident. "You have to wash dishes, do laundry. You don't know what's going in the drain."

Neighbors like Cain said that while boil orders don't happen often in their area, they want it fixed before it becomes an ongoing problem.

Randy Conner, the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Water Management, said this water main issue was not related to issues the pumping station had in 2021, which was more of an electrical issue. This week's issue arose because of a mechanical issue, he said, adding the pipes in the building are over 100 years old.

Connor said the Water Department is working with the Office of Budget Management on a 10-year assessment to move forward with any possible maintenance.

What residents can do

Residents were advised to boil their water for at least five minutes to ensure it was safe for consumption. Residents can store boiled water at room temperature or refrigerate it in a closed container.  

Water for laundry, watering lawns, and taking showers do not need to be boiled.   

Those in the affected areas picked up free bottles of water at Ridge Park, at 9625 S. Longwood Drive. By mid-afternoon on Wednesday, the city's water department had handed out more than 2,400 cases of water. 

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