Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioner Debra Shore of Skokie says people should avoid taking showers right before a rain storm.

No, that’s not because the rain is going to get you wet anyway. It’s because holding off on the shower could help prevent storm water from backing up into your basement.

Shore, in an MWRD news release, also suggests avoiding other high-water-consumption activites for up to two hours before and during a storm. Those include running the dishwasher or hand-washing dishes, washing clothes and cars and watering the lawn.

Evanston, and most of the rest of Cook County, has combined storm and sanitary sewer systems, and the extra water pouring into the system during a storm can cause water to back up into basements.

Evanston has managed to dramatically reduce storm flooding through an expensive series of sewer upgrade projects over the past two decades, but there still occasionally are scattered reports of flooding after a severe summer storm.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Shower fines?

    Will there be fines levied for anyone washing dishes and showering within two hours of the onset of a storm?

  2. Shore: Don’t take a shower if its going to rain

    Should be no problem because apparently it's not going to rain for some time. Shower away!


  3. Cleanliness according to the weather forecast

    Let me try to understand this. Before I want to clean dishes, take a shower, and flush the toilet I have to consult the weather forecast? I just received my tax bill yesterday. The amount of property taxes we pay in Evanston in total (and I know all about the different taxing agencies so don't jump all over this) continues to be high. And we have to make our personal sanitary decisions according to the weather. It is time to stop wasting our tax money on the frivolous and spend on the necessary to bring us into the 21st century. 

    1. Eric and Olaf, please read the article

      The article says:

      "No, that's not because the rain is going to get you wet anyway. It's because holding off on the shower could help prevent storm water from backing up into your basement."

      And now Eric and Olaf are upset about the government not letting them shower and wash dishes when it is raining. 

      Eric, Olaf –  please shower away, if you wish.   I really don't care if storm water backs up into YOUR basement, as long as no public resources are used to repair the flood damage.

      1. Laughing

        I laugh in the face of the MWRD.  I will be showering, while I run the dishwasher and the washing machine.

        But quite frankly, if there ever comes a day that the government won't let me shower when it's raining, then I will be very upset.  In fact, everyone should be very upset.

    2. It is not hard to understand–it is about saving tax money

      When I saw this first posted, I knew we would get silly responses like this one.

      First, Olaf, you don't HAVE to do anything.  There is no mandatory policy being discussed–what part of "suggests" do you not understand??

      Second, if you really are concerned about your tax bill you would understand that doing what Shore suggests SAVES TAXPAYER MONEY.  We have a combined sewer system.  The system has a limited capacity.  When it rains there is more stress on the system.  Since we can't control when it rains, but can control when we use high-water use activities, we can place less stress on the system if we can put elective water use off when there is less stress on the system.

      Third, you claim somehow that this suggestion is related to spending tax money.  It is not. 

      Finally, if you really want to come into the 21st century, we could convert to a separated sewer system.  Such a project, however, would cost multi-billions of dollars.  If you think your tax bill is high now, a total retrofit of the sewer system would push it through the roof.

      Kudos to Debra Shore for trying to keep down public expenditures.

  4. How ironic

    This is not a punitive, regulatory suggestion — it is a practical, voluntary one.  Those that criticize Shore for this advice likely do not understand how our sewer systems function and believe government should solve every single problem to perfection with no help or cooperation from the public.

    Debra Shore did not suggest that fines be issued or mandatory restrictions be put in place — she suggested how ordinary citizens can help achieve a common goal without undue government regulation. 

    The irony is that those that criticize her do so apparently under the guise of being against over-the-top government regulation, but in truth you are the ones so coddled by the government you can't accept personal responsiblity by doing your part without government regulation.

  5. Clean

    I can't imagine doing that.  Whatever the event, there should be no exemption in taking a shower.  I'm sure everyone will get upset to this.

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