Chicago Weather

Chicago-area residents asked to delay showers, use less water ahead of severe weather

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Editor's Note: Severe thunderstorm watches and warnings were in effect Tuesday for the entire Chicago area through 11 a.m., with a second round of storms possible this afternoon. Check the live weather radar near you here.

Chicago-area residents are being asked to use less water in an effort to prevent overflowing of storm water management systems in the region.

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District has issued an “Overflow Action Day” alert on Monday night, with several rounds of strong-to-severe storms expected to dump heavy rain on the region.

According to the alert, residents are being asked to delay taking showers or baths, flush toilets less frequently, and to wait to use dishwashers, washing machines and other high water-usage appliances.

Residents are also being asked not to water their lawns or flowers as the storms approach.

Overflow action alerts are used by the MWRD ahead of storms, which can cause excess water to enter sewer systems in the Chicago area. If too much water enters those systems at the same time, it can potentially require the release of untreated or only partially treated wastewater into the Chicago River or Lake Michigan in extreme circumstances.

Water can also back up into basements or onto city streets if sewer systems overflow, according to officials.

The first of several rounds of storms is expected to impact the Chicago area Monday night. More storms could develop Tuesday morning, with a “slight” risk of severe weather in the Chicago area. A third round of storms could hit Tuesday night, with heavy rain possible in all three rounds of weather.

Stay tuned to the NBC Chicago Storm Team for all the latest information.

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