As planned, water shut downs to accommodate drain line replacements will begin Monday August 10th, 8am until 5pm, for all floors and units from 2 to 55.
Water to all kitchens and baths from the 2nd to 55th floors will be off. PLEASE DO NOT USE YOUR SINKS, TUBS and TOILETS for any reason! If anything is coming down the drains, it will delay the work they are doing and likely result in water service being restored later than 5pm.
If you need the use of facilities during this time, the mall and laundry room bathrooms will be open. If you need any assistance at all, please do not hesitate to contact the office, 773-769-3250.
These shut downs are expected to continue Monday through Thursday, 8am to 5pm for the next 3 weeks – that’s through Thursday August 27th. At the moment, we are optimistic no further full building shutdowns will be needed after that time. We will be monitoring their progress very closely and anticipate holding a meeting with the General Contractor and Plumber on Monday August 24th, to make an assessment of their progress.
Each day there is a shutdown, we have asked the contractor to advise us mid-afternoon what the status is. If all is well, and they anticipate water to come back on as scheduled at 5pm, you won’t hear from us. However, if they run into any problems which may push it later, we will send out an e-mail blast updating residents. If you are not on our e-mail list, and would like to join, please click here to send a request.
The ceiling in the party room will be undergoing reconstruction beginning Monday August 10th. We expect the City’s plumbing inspector to pay the building a visit to give us the green light to begin putting drywall back up, starting at this location. Come the first week of September, the contractor expects to begin sowing up the ceiling in other locations. Full reconstruction is expected to take a solid month. Barring any unknowns, demobilization and clean up is anticipated the first week of October.
Not having water sure is a pain – we know that. As with the riser replacement projects which have been completed in tier by tier phases, the water shutdowns allow for these important repairs to be done. While hugely inconvenient, it is the only way the work can be accomplished. And, worse, if anything goes wrong – and it does – the water may be off longer than scheduled.
This has resulted in lots of traffic and calls to the office – very understandably. Owners and residents have had a lot of questions. For everyone’s benefit, here are some of those most frequently asked, and answered:
Q: Why? Why are we doing this? and Why now?
A: There are two primary reasons – 1. The plumbing and valves in these locations are mostly original. In some locations, the pipes were so weak they could be damaged by being touched or jostled. 2 years ago, our building plumber coordinated the replacement of a relatively long portion of drain line in the ceiling above the party room and weight room, and observed these conditions, raising several red flags. It was basically do the work now, planned and organized, or do it after a major flood. 2. The next 6 risers we will be replacing over the next 2 years are all on the low zone of the building, from the 3rd to 29th floors. Accessing the valves for these risers would have required work in this location with lifts and possibly scaffolding in the lobby. We were looking at either mobilizing and cutting large sections of the ceiling out on 6 separate occasions over two years – or do it all at once. Management and the staff strongly recommended doing it all at once. This saves time, money and disruption, and coupled with the fact a lot of the drain lines were on their last leg, the time was now.
Q: Are the water shut offs expected until October?
A: No. At the moment, we anticipate the water shut offs to continue through August. The last week of August we will hold a meeting with General Contractor and plumbers, to determine the status and whether any shut offs will be needed the 1st week of September.
Q: When will the scaffolding in the lobby come down?
A: After the ceiling is finished and painted, we will conduct an inspection, and give the contractor the green light to take it down. As of this moment, that is expected to take place the week of October 5th.
Q: Great pictures – is that really ours? Or are they stock photos?
A: Yes – that’s our work in progress. Both the building plumber, Louie, and I have been taking a lot of pictures. Obviously documentation for records is an important part of the process, but we also want everyone to see their dollars at work, and better understand what is being done and why.
Also, the Association’s Board of Directors has had to make some decisions along the way. We can not necessarily get everyone up on the scaffolding to look at conditions first hand, so pictures have helped show what our team is up against.
Q: This seems like a lot of work and shut downs to do all at once. Does this happen at other buildings?
A: Yes – definitely. The plumbing contractor working on the project estimates they do this type of project twice a year throughout Chicago. In one recent case in a building on Lakeshore Drive they also did all the risers at the same time. From building to building, the exact scope and location of the plumbing may vary, but we are not alone.
Fortunately, we are attacking this plumbing before we having any flooding or other crisis to deal with, and this was planned and budgeted in advance so the resources are available. Some buildings are not so proactive – unfortunately there are buildings that do not plan and budget for this type of work, and it is addressed after a water line has been compromised and in some cases caused flooding.
If you have any questions, just shoot me an e-mail.
We greatly appreciate everyone’s continued patience while this is being completed.