Saturday, February 22, 2014

How Dry I Am -- No Water Since Valentine's Day

We've heard from several readers on the 4700 block of Malden who have been without water in their building for over a week.  Valentine's Day, to be exact.  And there's no guarantee of when they will get it back.

It's not frozen pipes or a building issue or a payment issue.  It's a city issue caused by underground pipes that ruptured during the last cold spell.  Ald. Cappleman is aware of it, and has a staff member dedicated to the problem, who is in contact with the Department of Water Management on a daily basis.

But they're still without water, including an 80-year-old woman.  Imagine having to melt snow in your bathtub to have water to flush your toilet.  That's been going on for eight days now.  And, again, there's no guarantee when the water service will be restored.

The first calls were made Friday, February 14th.  The City came out to investigate on Monday, February 17th, and said the problem would be fixed by that evening.  But now, the Department of Water Management says that the first time they were contacted was Tuesday, February 18th, and these tenants will have to wait their turn.

We believe the folks at the DWM when they say they've been working around the clock to get services restored throughout the city, but that's not very much comfort if you've just hauled up a few buckets of snow to be able to flush your toilet.  Or if you're 80 years old and can't haul water upstairs.

Until you don't have water, you don't know how much you depend on it: bathing, brushing your teeth, providing water for your pets, flushing the toilets, doing laundry, washing dishes.  Now imagine not being able to do those things for more than a week.  Most people have friends who can help out, or can haul water from the store.  But not everyone is mobile or able to go out, especially when there are subzero temperatures or slippery streets.

If you do not have water, we assume you've called 3-1-1.  Now, call your alderman's office and make sure they know your situation so when they make their calls to DWM, you are included.  And, yes, subzero temperatures are on the way again.

It's been a very long time since Chicago was known as "The City That Works." Situations like this remind us just why that's the case.

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