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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Recovering Resources, Transforming Water

The MWRD continues its legacy of innovation and ingenuity through its Resource Recovery Program. In 2016 the Board of Commissioners adopted an ordinance to provide for the recovery and reuse of resources at the MWRD water reclamation plants.

The MWRD views used water as a collection of raw resources to be recovered and reused beneficially. Through its Resource Recovery Program, the MWRD aims to improve its nutrient reduction and create a more sustainable environment. The agency is accepting non-hazardous high strength liquid organic material (HSOM) recover phosphorus recovered during the water treatment process to reduce its release into the waterways.

Keep your waste haul local and out of landfills and incinerators.  Partner with the MWRD to discard your material in an environmentally friendly manner.

For more information or to inquire about your participation in the program, please contact us for more information.

High Strength Liquid Organic Material

High strength liquid organic materials (HSOM), also know as high strength liquid waste, are generally considered waste products of food processing facilities, restaurants, breweries, ethanol production facilities, tank bottoms, and similar sources. HSOM are homogenous liquids ore slurries high in organic content as measured in concentrations of chemical oxygen demand (COD), and are typically too concentrated to be disposed of by discharge to the sewers.

HSOM most desired by the MWRD have the following characteristics:

  • Total COD > 75,000 mg/L
  • Soluble COD > 50%
  • Total Solids < 10%
  • Volatile Solids to Total Solids > 75%

HSOM delivered to the District’s WRPs shall not exceed the following maximum concentrations in any sample taken at the time of discharge to the District. Failure to maintain compliance with these limitations is considered a violation of this Delivery Authorization and the Ordinance.


Effluent Limit


2.0 mg/L

Chromium (total)

25.0 mg/L

Chromium (hexavalent)

10.0 mg/L


3.0 mg/L


5.0 mg/L

Fats, Oils, and Greases

250.0 mg/L


250.0 mg/L


0.5 mg/L

Mercury (final)

0.0025 mg/L


10.0 mg/L


Minimum 4.0

Maximum 10.0

Phosphorus (total)

1,500 mg/L

Solids (total)



15.0 mg/L

Deliveries are accepted at the following MWRD facilities from approved haulers. Both the driver and the truck must be approved by the MWRD and the driver will need their driver's license to enter the facility.

Stickney Water Reclamation Plant

4015 S, Laramie Ave, Cicero, IL 60804


Deliveries of approved materials are permitted from 7:30 AM to 3:00 PM, Monday through Friday, excluding the following holidays:

New Year’s Day

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday

Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday

Presidents’ Day

Memorial Day


Independence Day

Labor Day 

Veteran’s Day

Thanksgiving Day

Christmas Day

The MWRD’s Bio-P removal process is a by-permit-only program with delivery locations ready to receive high-carbon strength organic materials (HSOM). Currently, the MWRD has approved the following material haulers. If you have a source material you would like delivered, you may be able to partner with one of them!