Skip to main content

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

About the Plant

  • 49 employees
  • 7 buildings on 108 acres
  • In operation since May 12, 1980

Receiving Stream

  • Higgins Creek

Treatment Volume

  • 52 million gallons/day (avg.)
  • 110 million gallons/day (max.)

Kirie WRP Fact Sheet

Schedule a Tour

Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m.
1.5 hours
Link to Form

The James C. Kirie Water Reclamation Plant (WRP) is one of seven wastewater treatment facilities owned and operated by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD). The MWRD is the wastewater treatment and stormwater management agency for the City of Chicago and 125 Cook County communities. We work every day to mitigate flooding and convert wastewater into valuable resources like clean water, phosphorus, biosolids and natural gas. 

Aerial view of a water reclamation plant with various tanks of water

If you live within our service area, the water that goes down your toilet, sinks and drains eventually comes to us to be cleaned. We treat wastewater from homes and businesses throughout our 883-square-mile service area in addition to stormwater from some communities. All of this wastewater and stormwater flows through local sewers into our interceptors before flowing to WRPs where we clean the water and recover resources using a combination of physical, biological, and sometimes chemical, treatment processes. 

The MWRD provides this service for over 5 million people. Nearly 450 billion gallons of wastewater is treated by our seven facilities every year. 

The Kirie WRP opened in 1980, making it the newest of the MWRD’s seven wastewater treatment plants. The plant is named after James C. Kirie, a Commissioner with the MWRD and a strong supporter of the MWRD’s Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP). At the time of its opening in Des Plaines, the MWRD’s six other plants operated with partial computerization and partial manual controls. The 108-acre Kirie Plant is the first among the MWRD’s plants to feature fully automated operations. The award-winning Kirie Plant serves a population of about 264,000 residents in a 65.2-squaremile service area which includes Arlington Heights, Elk Grove Village, Mount Prospect, Wheeling, and part of Rolling Meadows and Des Plaines.