Residents and business owners in suburban Dixmoor are growing increasingly frustrated over water pressure issues that have left them reliant on bottled water and forced to boil what little water they can get through their pipes.
In the community, some businesses have remained closed since the water pressure issues began over the weekend, and students at the community’s schools are remote-learning as their classrooms remained closed.
“It’s like living in a third-world country,” resident John Lannan says.
The community has been dealing with water pressure issues for nearly a week, with water coming through pipes in a trickle or not coming through at all. While water pressure is supposed to be around 35-to-36 pounds per square inch (PSI), the community has routinely seen PSI readings in the single digits, including dramatic reductions on Tuesday.
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Lannan says water at his home grew stronger at one point Wednesday, before retreating.
“Try not being able to take a shower. Try not being able to do laundry,” he said. “Try not being able to do dishes for five days, and then you’ll understand our frustration.”
Village crews continue working to improve water flow, saying that water is coming through with adequate pressure from the city of Harvey but is arriving in Dixmoor with significantly lower pressure.
One of the village’s turbine systems are operating, but the second will potentially need to be replaced, exacerbating the issues.
“That one system can carry this town for probably about six months,” village President Fitzgerald Roberts said. “We’re not gonna need the other one up and going like right away, but I would like to have it up and going ASAP.”
Village officials and various charities, including the Salvation Army, are handing out bottled water to residents, but Fitzgerald says he is seeking help from Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker as well.
“I would like help from the governor, from the federal level, all levels to get involved with this issue, where we can take care of this infrastructure out here where this problem will not occur again,” Roberts said.
It remains unclear when the water pressure will return to the community, and workers are continuing to tackle the myriad issues facing the village.