This story is from the Chicago Sun-Times. It appeared dated Wednesday, April 8, 1998. The content is exact although the layout has been modified for the web.
Flood-prone areas hope for relief
By Brenda Warner Rotzoll
Chicago neighborhoods that suffer sewer backups with every big storm should get "instant relief" - in eight to 30 months - from the city’s planned $64 million project to slow the flow of storm water into sewers, Ald. Michael Wojcik (30th) said Tuesday.
Alderman and residents from flood-prone areas met with Mayor Daley to tell him their woes of sewage backup, stench and health problems. Residents had been calling for new and larger sewers, but seemed cautiously optimistic they would get relief from the plan to install an inlet control system.
The system would put "vortex valves" in catch basins, slowing the entry of water into the city’s combined sewage-storm sewers. This would lessen the amount of water in the sewers at a given moment, thus lowering hydraulic pressure that can build up and push water and sewage backward into basements.
Dora Lofton, who lives on Lafton, who lives on Latrobe in the Austin neighborhood, said that for 23 years she has had water back up into her basement with ever big storm. The huge storm last August sent four feet of raw sewage into her basement. "I still mop two or three times a week with disinfectant and it still smells," she said.
Last years flood "was a very bad health issue for the children in our neighborhood who live in basements," said Martha Soto of the Hermosa neighborhood.