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The lives of North Chicago residents are in our hands.

City of North Chicago Public Works Department

Before COVID-19 came to the U.S., the City’s Public Works Department was already preparing to keep North Chicago’s water plant operators—and the city’s water supply—safe. They activated their emergency response plan, which includes a carefully orchestrated shift change protocol so spaces are disinfected and no operator comes in contact with another.

The real heroes are the talented water plant staff doing their jobs every day. They’ve put their personal lives on hold to stay healthy and keep our city healthy. Ensuring safe water is not a job we take lightly. – Ed Wilmes, Public Works Director, City of North Chicago

Did You Know?

  • North Chicago’s water plant—built in the 1930s, with additions made in the 1960s-70s and 1980s-90s—sells water service to unincorporated communities and, as of recently, to MWR Naval Station Great Lakes.

  • The plant has a 12 million gallons/day capacity; daily demand is down to 2.8 to 4.2 million gallons/day from 8 million, due to less manufacturing as well as water conservation efforts.

  • The area’s biggest water consumers: AbbVie, Inc. and Abbott Laboratories, Procter & Gamble Chemicals, Rosalind Franklin University, and the Jelly Belly Candy Company.

North Chicago’s Public Works Department has 23 employees, all considered essential and working during the shutdown. They ensure the safe operation of the water plant as well as streets and other utilities.

Pictured: Water Plant Operator Michael Clayborne



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