Thursday, December 7, 2017

MWRD: Reversing the flow of the Chicago River

Reversing the flow of the Chicago River to keep Chicago's filth away from its drinking water intakes is one of those topics that has so much information that I have been reluctant to explain it. Fortunately, our local PBS station, WTTW, has addressed it with an animated video. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) posted a link to WTTW's Facebook video. But I don't trust the permanence of Facebook video links. The Chicago Tribune posted a WTTW web site of information. It includes the river-reversal topic, which includes a copy of the animation video.

Scroll down for the  video: How Chicago Reversed Its River: An Animated History
Colleen Blackburn shared this link.
Richard Rohr My funny geology prof at UIC said the people of Chicago fought against changing the flow of the river because they thought all the water in Lake Michigan would run out and go down the Mississippi. True or false?
Dennis DeBruler Not the people of Chicago, but of Wisconsin. A lawsuit is why Chicago installed Water Treatment Plants and the lock in the 1930s. Also, history has shown that climate has a bigger impact on the lake level than Chicago's usage. Now Foxconn is having a hard time getting an allocation of 7 million gallons (per day?).

The WTTW page has several more photos concerning the digging of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. It also describes what happened after the canal was dug such as the water treatment plants that were built after 1929 including the world's largest.

New, unforeseen challenges – the migration of invasive species such as the Asian Carp into the Chicago River foremost among them – have recently reopened conversations about how the river might continue to be engineered and whether it ought to be restored to its natural course. [WTTW]

An overview of the MWRD's management of the Chicago Area Waterway System

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