City of Chicago Office of the Inspector General

10/15/2021 | Press release | Archived content

OIG Advisory on the May 2021 Roseland Pumping Station Failure

On May 6, 2021, an equipment failure at the Roseland Pumping Station (RPS) caused pressure in the water main to drop, requiring the Department of Water Management (DWM) to issue a 24-hour water-boil order for much of the 19th Ward in the RPS service area--spanning from Albany Avenue to the west, 119th Street to the south, and west of Interstate 57 to southwest Beverly Avenue. The resulting boil order affected residents of the Beverly and Morgan Park neighborhoods.

On May 25, 2021, failure of the same type of equipment caused a second power outage at the facility which did not result in a boil order but exacerbated concerns about the facility, resulting in media reports and a formal aldermanic request that the Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigate what had become a matter of ongoing public concern.

OIG examined the issues at RPS, which included interviewing a City vendor and City and ComEd officials, as well as reviewing emails and records. On the basis of the information provided, OIG has concluded that the root of the May 6, 2021 and May 25, 2021 issues was a City equipment failure inside the station--namely, a rented uninterruptible power supply (UPS) unit installed in 2018 and a temporary replacement installed after the May 6th event.