Crews spend busy night on water main breaks

Evanston water department employees were kept busy Tuesday night and early Wednesday, responding to a series of water main breaks, including one in front of the Levy Senior Center, 300 Dodge Ave., where the site was cordoned off. | Bob Seidenberg~Sun-Times Media
Evanston water department employees were kept busy Tuesday night and early Wednesday, responding to a series of water main breaks, including one in front of the Levy Senior Center, 300 Dodge Ave., where the site was cordoned off. | Bob Seidenberg~Sun-Times Media

Evanston Water Department employees were busy Tuesday night with water breaks at three locations, including one near the Levy Senior Center where a burst pipe created a 10-foot hole.

Police notified the utilities department at 7:47 p.m. of a main break at 1722 South Blvd., said Dave Stoneback, the city’s utilities director.

Stoneback said the department’s stand-by person was on his way to the South Boulevard site when another call came, reporting a break at Mulford Street and Dodge Avenue.

He said the stand-by person – aware of the multiple breaks occurring in that area and how much damage they cause the street – went to the Mulford-Dodge location first.

“It was a break with a lot of water coming up,” he said. The on-duty person set up traffic control and started restricting the flow by partially closing water valves. Apipe with a 90-degree bend had separated from the water main, “so we had a full 10-inch [hole] … pouring water out,” and flooding the street, he said.

Stoneback said the on-duty person called the department’s pump operator who called in a crew to make repairs.

He said the employee next went to 1722 South Blvd., arriving at the scene about 9:50 p.m. He again checked the site and made sure the sewers were draining, Stoneback said. He then contacted the pump operator and indicated a second crew would be needed.

By midnight, six additional employees had responded, Stoneback said in his report. One crew began working on South Boulevard and the second crew began working on Dodge. The crew on South completed the repair at approximately 3:30 a.m., he said

They then went to Dodge to assist with the repair directly under the CTA tracks.

A third water main break, at 337 Dodge Ave., was reported at approximately 3:45 a.m., Stoneback said. That leak was regarded a small one and crews began excavation work to make the repair.

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