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Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale

Equipment From 1800s Caused Hundreds Of Logan Square Residents To Lose Service, People’s Gas Says

A safety valve that is part of an "old, low-pressure" section of the system activated when it shouldn't have and shut off the flow of gas, officials said.

The outage brought dozens of People's Gas workers to the area.
Mina Bloom/Block Club Chicago
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LOGAN SQUARE — A piece of equipment installed more than 100 years ago caused hundreds to lose natural gas in Logan Square last week, People’s Gas officials said.

A safety valve that is part of an “old, low-pressure” section of the system from the late 1800s activated when it shouldn’t have and shut off the flow of gas last Tuesday, company spokesman David Schwartz said in an emailed statement.

The malfunction caused at least 1,300 Logan Square residents to lose natural gas through the following day. Crews had to go into each home to turn on pilot lights and appliances, which prolonged the outage.

The valve has since been replaced and service has been restored for all customers, Schwartz said. Officials did not say where the valve was located.

In addition to replacing the valve, crews also installed a remote monitoring device which is designed to give off an alarm “in the event of unusual pressure conditions in the future,” Schwartz said.

RELATED: People’s Gas Outage Knocks Out Heat For 1,300 Logan Square Residents

People’s Gas has been overhauling its system and replacing Chicago’s aging pipes as part of a massive, $2.4 billion modernization plan. Critics say the multi-year plan has been mired with delays and mismanagement.

Schwartz said the incident is “an example of the need for People’s Gas to continue upgrading Chicago’s natural gas delivery system.”

 “The advanced age and design of low-pressure systems make them vulnerable to false triggers,” the spokesman said.

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