CHICAGO (CBS) — The heavy rain and snow from the last few days is putting the Chicagoland sewage system to the test, and residents are being asked to be mindful of water consumption at home.

(Credit: Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago)

Two of the three deep tunnels are full because of the recent rain.

The system of reservoirs and tunnels is designed to collect excess rain water and sewage until it can be treated.

The deep tunnels help prevent flooding and sewage overflows into the river.

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago says the tunnels are operating how they are supposed to, but if the third tunnel fills up the runoff would spill into the waterways.

That is why they are stressing everyone be mindful when turning on your faucet in the coming days.

“We’ve partnered with Friends of the Chicago River to get the message out, and I think people are starting to pay attention to it and listen to it,” said Ed Staudacher, assistant director of maintenance and operations. “I think it’s good advice during a storm. Put off, delay anything you can possibly do later. Put it off until later, and it will help the whole system out.”

More rain is in the forecast, and the system is continuing to be monitored.

Charlie De Mar