Water

Nearly a week a later, Dixmoor is still without reliable running water as Cook County officials met Thursday with representatives of the south suburb and the town of Harvey.

A sign informs Aldi customers that due to the water shut off by Dixmoor, the store is closed, as ongoing water pressure problems continue in Dixmoor on Oct. 20, 2021. © Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune A sign informs Aldi customers that due to the water shut off by Dixmoor, the store is closed, as ongoing water pressure problems continue in Dixmoor on Oct. 20, 2021.

Homes in Dixmoor are still experiencing “a spectrum” of problems ranging from no water to a trickle, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said at a news conference Thursday morning in Dixmoor.

Dixmoor Mayor Fitzgerald Roberts became visibly emotional as he spoke about the situation. “It’s been very hard,” he said. “I have been dealing with this since 5 o’clock Saturday morning.”

The county brought in a plumbing and electrical team to understand the problem, Preckwinkle said. The county also worked with the Salvation Army to provide pallets of water.

The president of the South Suburban Public Works Association said he can help provide resources such as trucks to haul debris, according to Bill Barnes, executive director at the Cook County Emergency Management and Regional Security.

DIxmoor's economic development director, John Thompson, left, talks with public works Superintendent Hubert Darden, second from right, water operator Rufus Fisher, center, and an engineer outside a pumping station as ongoing water pressure problems continue in Dixmoor on Oct. 20, 2021. © Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune DIxmoor's economic development director, John Thompson, left, talks with public works Superintendent Hubert Darden, second from right, water operator Rufus Fisher, center, and an engineer outside a pumping station as ongoing water pressure problems continue in Dixmoor on Oct. 20, 2021.

Preckwinkle noted that her staff had called officials in Harvey — Dixmoor’s only water provider — who requested technical help to diagnose a clog in one of the city’s feeder water mains.

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Although Harvey has not responded about the water crisis, Preckwinkle said, “This isn’t about assessing blame. It’s about trying to fix a problem that’s a result of the fact that we have real infrastructure needs, not just here in Cook County but across the country.”

She emphasized that “we’re going to try to work with Harvey to help them find where their challenges are.”

Barnes said that officials are “still unsure” what the problem is, and that it’s been difficult to diagnose because the pipes are underground and “the way you diagnose is through process of elimination.”

The problem has been isolated to a stretch of water main that runs under Wood Street, he added. Dixmoor has experienced further issues with its turbines, also known as pumps, one of which still needs to be repaired.

On Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, workers trying to resolve a water crisis in Dixmoor do work on Wood Street at Sibley Boulevard in Harvey, which supplies water to Dixmoor. © Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune On Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, workers trying to resolve a water crisis in Dixmoor do work on Wood Street at Sibley Boulevard in Harvey, which supplies water to Dixmoor.

Water may be cut off for residences near where work is being done, said John Yonan, an engineer and Cook County’s bureau chief of asset management. Yonan was unable to provide a timeline for when the problems will be fixed.

James Vasselli, attorney for the village of Dixmoor, said efforts are being made to locate federal and state money to improve infrastructure in Dixmoor.

Dixmoor resident Martha Montero said she pays for water as part of her rent.

For residents like Montero, Preckwinkle said she “can’t speak to” whether they will be financially reimbursed.

The village has been distributing water at Village Hall, but officials have been criticized by residents who can’t get access to showers or the water that is being provided.

Roberts said showers would be available to residents at Thornton Township High School by Thursday afternoon. Roberts added that he could get a van to transport residents who are not able to get there on their own.

Shortly after 4:30 p.m., a village spokesperson said officials were “in the process of organizing” showers, but that those would “definitely” happen by the end of Thursday.

Preckwinkle repeatedly cited the need for federal investment in infrastructure.

“Clearly, we need to invest in restoring our underground infrastructure in lots of places in Cook County,” she said.

Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/dixmoor-runs-dry-no-end-in-sight-for-thousands-in-south-suburban-chicago-left-without-reliable-water/ar-AAPOa0j

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