Water receding after massive water main break on Chicago’s Northwest Side

CHICAGO -- Water is receding and streets are becoming passable again after a major water main break in the Sauganash neighborhood.

The Chicago Water Department got the call reporting a valve break in the 5900 block of North Kilpatrick Avenue around 3 a.m. Thursday.

Barrett Murphy, Commissioner of the Department of Water Management, says the water that got inside some homes in the area was clean and potable.

"We have People's Gas and Commonwealth Edison out here going door to door to assess everybody's home to make sure that there's no issues with pilot lights or electrical systems," Murphy told reporters.

The city Water Department was able to stop the steady stream at its source on Caldwell. Crews could get the water down about six hours after the break.

Murphy says it is a 36-inch water main with many side connections. It is a feeder main connected to a distribution main that supplies water to the whole area.

"So there's a great number of valves," Murphy said, "and that's what takes time is to get to each one of those valves and get the correct number of turns on each."

On the exterior the neighborhood is getting back to normal. But inside some of the houses on Kilpatrick Avenue the effects of the damage will linger.