Water Main Work Not Stopping for COVID-19

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Earlier this week, residents in two Chicago communities on opposite sides of the city woke up to water shut-off notices. It was an unexpected development not only because many residents are now sheltering in place, but also because of the emphasis being placed on hand-washing to combat spread of the coronavirus.

In Lincoln Square on the North Side, the shutoff turned out to be related to a building issue – a nuisance regular work-from-home folks experience more often than their commuting counterparts. But in South Shore, the notice was tied to upcoming water main work.

That news left many questioning the legality of water shutoffs during the pandemic. Others wondered whether the city shouldn’t just press pause on all infrastructure projects for the time being.

In terms of legality, capital improvement projects are considered “essential” under Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home executive order, according to Megan Vidis, Department of Water Management spokeswoman…Read More

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