The Department of Water Management delivers nearly 1 billion gallons of drinking water to residents of Chicago and 125 suburbs daily. We also remove waste water and storm runoff through the sewer system. Our mission is to efficiently provide the highest quality drinking water to the Chicago region while protecting our most precious natural resource- Lake Michigan.


Prolonged, frigid temperatures put pipes at risk of freezing both outside AND inside.To help prevent expensive repairs from your interior plumbing freezing and bursting:

  1. Keep your home adequately heated.
  2. Make sure that warm air can circulate under cabinets and in areas where there is plumbing on the outside walls.
  3. Keep a trickle of water running at the faucet farthest from where the main water line enters your home. A small trickle of water can prevent thousands of dollars in property damage.
  4. If you do have a pipe freeze, use a blow dryer or heating pad to thaw it, not an open flame.

And if the underground water service line that carries water from the street into your home breaks or leaks, please call 311 so one of our investigators can determine the location.

The Department of Water Management will follow up to coordinate replacing lead service


Avoid water in your basement 

As our climate changes, we are seeing more intense storms than we have in past years. Our sewer system can get overwhelmed by these huge downpours and more of us are finding water in our basements. In Chicago, the sewer system also handles rainwater removal. The Chicago Department of Water Management is working closely with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District to increase the capacity of our drainage systems.

There are some steps homeowners can take to help prevent water from backing up into their basements:

  • Disconnect downspout connections from the sewer system.
  • Make sure to direct downspout flow to areas with permeable surfaces that can properly absorb the stormwater or use rain barrels to collect the water directly from the downspouts.
  • Avoid running a dishwasher or washing machine during storms.
  • Clear the area around downspouts to allow water to flow freely away from your foundation.
  • Clear drains and sewers of debris and snow to allow drainage for melting.
  • Do not dump fats/oils/greases in private drains or public catch basins.
  • For better resistance to flooding in the future, it can be helpful to install rain gardens, green landscaping, or stormwater trees in your yard to help retain rainwater.

Flushing Your Water System 

Now that your old water main has been replaced and your water service has been connected to the new water main, it is important to flush your plumbing of any sediment, rust or metals, including any lead to maintain water quality.


Consumer Lead Testing Results and Requests  

Construction Projects

Neighborhood construction projects involving water and sewer main replacements.

Department Main Office

Water Management
  • Phone: 312.744.4420
    Toll Free:
    Fax: 312.744.7119
  • 1000 East Ohio Street
    Chicago, IL 60611   
    Get Directions
  • Leadership
    Andrea R.H. Cheng, Ph.D., P.E.
    Commissioner of Water Management

Department Facts

Additional Information


 2017 Water Quality Link



 Do you have a question, concern or a request? Send us an email from this link


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