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Contractor plugs sewer, flooding basements

Evanston city officials say a mistake by a contractor working on the sewer system left many homeowners in south and central Evanston with water backed up into their basements over the weekend.

Evanston city officials say a mistake by a contractor working on the sewer system left many homeowners in south and central Evanston with water backed up into their basements over the weekend.

Dave Stoneback, superintendent of the city’s water and sewer division, says Kenny Construction, which has been doing work on the sewers for the Metropolitian Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, had placed a bladder in a six-foot diameter sewer on Elmwood Avenue just south of Lake Street to reduce the water flow into the Lake Street sewer they’re working on.

But, Stoneback says, when workers went to release the air from the bladder Friday evening at the end of the work week, it didn’t fully deflate. So, when over an inch of rain hit the city Saturday morning, the bladder moved and ended up blocking the sewer completely.

As a result, Stoneback says, sewers in the area bounded by Lake Street, Chicago Avenue, Howard Street, Ridge Avenue, Main Street and Maple Avenue drained by the sewer started backing up.

Stoneback says Kenny is taking full responsiblity for the problem and resulting damage and that residents who experienced sewer backups should contact Baldemar Corral at the Kenny Construction Skokie field office at 847-674-3266.

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