Featured Services and Programs
Chicago Water Quality
The easiest way to promote water quality at home is to flush your water system every day
Suburban Customers & Regional Partnerships
Information on Chicago's suburban water customers and regional partnership initiatives.
PREVENT PIPES FROM FREEZING
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:
- Keep your home adequately heated.
- Make sure that warm air can circulate under cabinets and in areas where there is plumbing on the outside walls.
- 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.
- 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
Neighborhood construction projects involving water and sewer main replacements.
Department Main Office
1000 East Ohio Street
Chicago, IL 60611
Andrea R.H. Cheng, Ph.D., P.E.
Commissioner of Water Management