The 1500 block of North Leavitt Street in Wicker Park. Credit: Google Maps / Provided

WICKER PARK — Neighbors who live near the corner of North Avenue and Leavitt Street may notice a pungent odor in their homes.

That smell is the result of a sewer lining project taking place from 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Tuesday between 1528-1552 N. Leavitt St.

The Department of Water Management project will rehabilitate the existing sewer without the conventional digging method, Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) said in an email newsletter.

“This sewer rehabilitation will minimize, if not eliminate, street cave-ins due to failure in old sewers,” Hopkins said. “In addition, it will bring better drainage to the area and may help alleviate flooding during heavy rain.”

Tuesday’s work on Leavitt Street in Wicker Park includes the following:

  • Cleaning and inspection of the main sewer
  • Cleaning and inspection of catch basin pipes
  • Lining of manholes structures
  • Lining of the main sewer
  • The reinstatement of house drain services
  • A final inspection of the lined sewer

The work may cause to odors inside homes near the sewer line.

To prevent odors, pour two to three cups of water into each basement floor drain and limit water usage as much as possible, Hopkins said.

If you have any questions, email Hopkins at, or call the 2nd Ward Service Office at 312-643-2299. 

Last year, neighbors who live and work near the intersection of Division and Leavitt streets reported pungent, chemical-like odors emanating from their drains, NBC reported.

Neighbors were told the smell was the result of sewer lining work on Leavitt Street.

Fabio Sorano, the owner of Letizia’s Natural Bakery and Enoteca Roma, 2144-2146 W. Division St., told Block Club the smell was so foul he had to close for business.

Megan Moser, manager of Companion Animal Hospital Wicker Park, 2134 W. Division St., said the smell gave a vet technician a migraine.

The smell dissipated within a week, neighbors said.

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