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Chicago hands out free bottled water to residents affected by boil order

Cars wrapped around the block as the city handed out more than 1,000 cases of water bottles.

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A line of cars wrapped around Ridge Park and south onto Longwood Drive Wednesday as residents from three Chicago communities waited to pick up cases of bottled water.

"I've waited in this line almost 40 minutes for one case of water," said Warren Jones, a Beverly resident.

"It is irritating, but you have to do what you have to do to stay safe," said Marcella, from nearby Auburn Gresham.

Chicago officials announced Wednesday morning a boil order is in effect for Beverly, Morgan Park and Auburn Gresham neighborhoods due to a leak on a high pressure water main at the Roseland Avenue Pumping Station.

"The Roseland Avenue Pumping Station is about 112 years old. It's just a matter of older infrastructure," said Commissioner Randy Conner.

As of Wednesday morning, the water main was back online and fully pressurized, according to the city. However, out of an abundance of caution, a boil order remains for drinking and cooking water.

It caused a disruption for restaurants along Beverly's busy Western Avenue corridor.

"We can't use our fountain machine, obviously no washing dishes, no washing hands, no drinking water," said Austyn Nuzzo, a manager at Nicky's of Beverly.

"It really makes it difficult for the guys in the back. Obviously people aren't happy when they can't get their fountain drinks."

Nuzzo said they've already made multiple trips to a grocery store for bagged ice, canned soda and bottled water.

The order will be lifted when testing from the Chicago Department of Water management verifies the water is safe to drink. Commissioner Conner hopes that will happen by Thursday morning.    

Until then, residents should bring water to a full rolling boil for at least five minutes. Boiled water may be stored at room temperature or refrigerated in a closed container until needed.

The city said water for laundry, watering lawns and taking showers does not need to be boiled.

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