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Is Chicago’s Water System Vulnerable To Leaks?

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(CBS) – Last week, it was a water pollution problem in Toledo, Ohio. Today, residents of Bay City, Michigan are being told to conserve water while crews search for the source of a leak that’s draining the system.

How vulnerable is Chicago’s water supply? WBBM’s Regine Schlesinger looked into that question.

Is Chicago’s Water System Vulnerable To Leaks?

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Chicago’s 1st Deputy Water Commissioner Barrett Murphy says the kind of problem Bay City is dealing with, an unknown leak, is much less likely in Chicago because the city monitors the system constantly in real time.

“We have 12 pumping stations which then provide service areas where we could localize where there was potential water loss, as well as 85 pressure monitoring points throughout our system.”

He says Chicago could easily pinpoint any breaks.

Meanwhile, the city is moving forward with its ten-year plan to replace all the water mains in Chicago that are 100 years or older. By the end of this third year of the plan, the water department will have replaced another 85 miles of pipes and by the end of the ten years, it will have upgraded 880 miles worth.