May 28, 2014

City Introduces Ordinance Strengthening Inspection And Reporting Requirements For Rooftop Water Tank Structures

May 28, 2014
Mayor’s Press Office


Mayor Emanuel introduced an ordinance in City Council today that will require building owners with rooftop water tank structures to retain a third-party licensed architect or licensed structural engineer to perform an in-depth inspection of the tanks and to submit a written report detailing the inspection to the Department of the Buildings within one year of ordinance passage, and then each subsequent two years thereafter.

Currently, building owners with rooftop water tanks perform a critical inspection of the tanks and submit a written report for review by the Department of Buildings every five years.  The new ordinance expands the scope of the inspection to include a critical and invasive inspection, with a hands-on comprehensive review of the structural integrity of the water tanks and the supporting structure.

“The increase in extreme weather incidents, including extreme heat, extreme freezing and high winds, combined with the aging of the tanks and supporting structures, warranted the evaluation of the time span and degree of the inspections,” said Felicia Davis, Commissioner for the Department of Buildings. “The proposed new ordinance provisions are designed to properly evaluate and monitor the structural integrity of the water tanks and supporting structure.”

The new reforms also reinforce the priority of the Commissioner of Buildings’ emergency demolition powers regarding a water tank and support structure that poses an immediate life-safety risk.


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