Water main breaks in Joliet should be wake-up call to repair crumbling infrastructure across region

Every day we fail to make these investments, the infrastructure we rely on becomes more difficult and expensive to improve.

SHARE Water main breaks in Joliet should be wake-up call to repair crumbling infrastructure across region
A person fills a glass with tap water.

Joliet City Council voted Jan. 28 to buy Lake Michigan water from the city of Chicago.

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This week, the Sun-Times reported that water main breaks in Joliet threatened water quality and forced residents under a boil order. In a dark twist of irony, this breakage came on the heels of an announcement that Joliet is doing the right thing — looking to the future — by investing hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure improvements as part of a new deal to get Lake Michigan water from the City of Chicago.

While we don’t know what caused the water mains to break, Joliet clearly understands the importance of investing in its infrastructure, a lesson that should be heeded throughout the Chicago metropolitan region.

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Outdated infrastructure is not a unique problem. Sewers throughout our region flood because they are more than 100 years old and simply can’t handle all the waste and stormwater. Chicago has just recently started a program to finally replace its record number of outdated lead water mains.

Largely due to to years of inadequate government funding, our region is suffering from a lack of investment in water infrastructure. To make things worse, because it is out of sight, we often fail to consider the poor status of our water infrastructure until there’s a problem.

The only way to stop water main breaks, flooding and contaminated water is to make continued investments in our region’s water infrastructure. That’s why we at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago are attempting to do our part, awarding millions of dollars in grants for municipalities across Cook County to invest in green infrastructure.

Every day we fail to make these investments, the infrastructure we rely on becomes more difficult and expensive to improve. We cannot wait until we reach a crisis point before acting.

Mariyana Spyropoulos
Commissioner
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

GOP seeks approval from the mob

The Republican Party in Congress is like a parent unwilling to discipline an unruly child, and unwilling even to admit the child has a problem.

The party does not lead, as it should. The party is following a Pied Piper who has been rejected by American voters. Worse yet, the GOP is following the mob that is following the Piper, hoping to retain the mob’s approval.

Michael Hart, West Ridge

Done in by the nerds

I am 83 years old and a computer illiterate. So I’ll be the last to get the vaccine. I knew the nerds would get me, sooner or later.

Leonard Hall, LaGrange Highlands

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