ANDERSONVILLE — Chicago Water Department will be testing a less invasive water main repair technology that could potentially save mature trees in Andersonville, the area’s alderman said this week.
Last week, Chicago’s Water Department vowed to launch a pair of pilot programs to test out the cured-in-place pipe technology already being used in other cities. The pilot announcement came as aldermen pushed an ordinance that would have forced the department to launch the program. It also followed a Block Club report on how the department failed to embrace the CIPP technology other cities have adopted.
In his ward newsletter, Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) said Andersonville residents can volunteer to participate in the new CIPP pilot program, but there is no guarantee that every household will be selected.
Osterman said the independent third-party firm Greeley-Hanson had been selected to work with the city over the next two weeks.
“We will all work together to make this project successful,” he said.
Ally Brisbain, Osterman’s chief of staff, said there will be more details about the scope of the pilot program in the coming weeks.
Cured-in-place pipe, known as CIPP, inserts a resin-coated liner through existing underground water mains. Under pressure, the liner seals the inside of the main, extending the life of underground pipes for 50 to 80 years. A brand-new water main is essentially created within the old main.
One key benefit of CIPP, officials in other cities say, is that trenches don’t need to be dug for the entire length of the main, with all trees in the way cut down. Instead, holes are dug at distant intervals to pull through the liner, saving the trees in between.
The city did test CIPP on the city’s Southeast Side in 2017. But the department abandoned the technology after that 300-foot test. Contractors who worked on the pilot contend the test project was tainted, doomed to fail and not a good example of how the cured-in-place pipe should be installed.
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