Leak irks Kankakee family

September 20, 2018

KANKAKEE — The water leak is not a geyser or a torrent. But it’s enough of a flow to annoy Kankakee residents Cheryl Overton and her daughter, Emma, who live nearby.

By their account, the leak has continued more than six weeks at the northeast corner of Merchant Street and Entrance Avenue.

In early August, while stopped at the intersection, Emma heard the water falling into a storm drain at the intersection. Then she saw the water flowing along a few feet of curb.

“At first, it looked like someone may have left the hose out,” Emma said.

Upon further inspection, Emma could see no hose. The water appeared to be bubbling up from a patch of grass at the intersection.

Soon after, Cheryl called the police and asked what number she should call to report the leak. Instead of giving her the information, a dispatcher sent an officer over. But the officer was no help, she said.

Finally, Cheryl alerted Kankakee-based Aqua Illinois, the area’s private water utility. Aqua put up a traffic barricade, but has not taken care of the issue yet.

“This is clean water going down the drain. It’s being wasted. Who is paying for it?” Cheryl said.

Melissa Kahoun, Aqua’s area manager, said the flow of water is the result of a leak in a main.

“That’s ours to fix. It’s on our list,” she said. “This will be an incredibly challenging situation, due to the utilities that are there. This is one we’re trying to coordinate. ComEd will need to get involved.”

Fixing the leak will require a shutdown that could last a day, causing a lot of people to be without water, Kahoun said.

She declined to give a timeline on when the problem would be fixed, saying that main breaks and hydrants are priorities.

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