CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago is back open for business, but at least one thing remains closed: public water fountains.
That’s frustrating runners as they train for the Chicago Marathon and other upcoming events.READ MORE: Woman Pistol-Whipped On CTA Blue Line Train In Bucktown
CBS 2 Morning Insider Tim McNicholas set out to learn what the holdup is.
Like all great athletes, Ben Sussman and Kayla Jane McLaughlin know how to adapt.
So how are they getting the water they need while in training, with the Chicago Park District’s public water fountains still off?
“I was gonna say drink from the lake, as a joke,” Sussman said.
“I’ve ran in Starbucks and asked for three cups of the venti waters,” McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin and about 10 other members of the Lakeview Run Club are training for the 26-mile Chicago Marathon, which will be run for the first time in two years in October.
So their daily runs are getting longer—and so is the need for a place to refill their water.
“A big key to marathon training is knowing how your body hydrates, knowing how frequently you need water,” McLauglin said. “Like I said, as soon as your body craves that first sip, you’re experiencing dehydration.”READ MORE: Woman Injured In Crash On DuSable Lake Shore Drive, Good Samaritans Help Her Escape Burning Car
“I always used the city of Chicago water fountains, and that definitely threw me in a loop,” Sussman said.
The city already gave the green light to turn the fountains back on, so we reached out to ask why the water still isn’t flowing. It turns out the process takes weeks.
The Chicago Park District said they’re currently flushing the lines, clearing them out after a year and a half of no use, and then testing the fountains; all 850 across the city.
Once that’s done, the public can safely use them.
That day can’t come soon enough for McLaughlin and Sussman.
“Let’s get on it,” McLaughlin said. “It’s a health concern. It’s hot.”
“Not to be too dramatic, but a lot of people come out on the lake, hot day, sun’s out,” Sussman said.
But for now, they’ll have to keep adapting.
“It’s gonna be, ‘Hey who wants to meet me at mile 10 with a water bottle?’” McLaughlin said.MORE NEWS: Board President Toni Preckwinkle Marks 11,000 COVID Death In Cook County
The park district is asking people for patience as they work to flush and test those lines. They’re expected to come back on within the next few weeks.