Boil order lifted for Beverly, Morgan Park and Auburn Gresham residents

The boil order issued for three neighborhoods on Chicago's South Side following a water main break earlier this week has been lifted.

A leak on a high-pressure water main at the Roseland Pumping Station disrupted service in parts of BeverlyMorgan Park and Auburn Gresham beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The boil order was issued early Wednesday. 

The water main has been brought back online and is now fully pressurized, but the boil order remained in effect until Thursday morning out of an abundance of caution.

Chicago's Office of Emergency Management & Communications announced the order had been lifted just after 6 a.m. 

On Wednesday night, Chicago Department of Water Management Commissioner Randy Conner said they were waiting for additional lab results.

The Chicago Department of Water Management (DWM) issued the boil order for drinking and cooking water for "the 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."

Starting early Wednesday morning, city officials handed out free cases of water to affected residents.

"They popped this up right away," said Mary Corrigan, a resident.

With pallets positioned in the parking lot of the Ridge Park Cultural Center near 96th and Longwood, community members waited in line to retrieve their cases.

"There’s a huge, long line down to 99th street," said Mary Martin, a resident.

By 9 p.m. Wednesday, DWM officials said they had distributed more than 5,000 cases.

"Clean water is very vital to our health, and so the fact that they have that issue right now, it’s such a great thing that they’re able to provide free water to the community," said Elizabeth Elie, a resident.

The boil order stems from a failure at the Roseland Pumping Station, which caused outages in the area until approximately 11 p.m. Tuesday.

"I noticed it when I turned the water on and the water pressure was really bad," said Corrigan.

Overnight, thousands of residents were awoken to alerts on their cell phones when the boil order was issued.

"It’s been kind of hard because I’ve got four people living in our house," said Theric Marion, a resident.

The Roseland Pumping Station, which is 112 years old, has experienced its share of issues in recent years.

"Constantly the city has been over there digging and trying to fix stuff," said Marion.  

In 2021, residents were placed under two boil orders in less than one month.

"The fact of the matter is this – the Roseland Pumping Station went online in 1912. It’s just another example of how, here in our city, we need to continue to invest in our infrastructure," said Alderman Matt O’Shea (19 Ward), who assisted in Wednesday’s distribution effort.

Commissioner Conner said much of the pumping station’s infrastructure is original and is being assessed regularly.

"We take a look at our condition assessments every 10 years, and if we decide it’s worth it and we need to rebuild, we will," said Conner. "We will have a better idea in the next 6-9 months what that will look like for that plant in particular."

Residents in the affected area should bring tap water to a "full rolling boil" for at least five minutes to prepare it for consumption. Boiled water can be refrigerated or stored at room temperature in closed containers.

All water for drinking must be boiled before consumption, including water for ice cubes, washing foods, washing dishes, and brushing teeth, officials said.

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