The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago
The MWRD is working hard to manage stormwater, clean wastewater and recover valuable resources.
Created in 1889 as the Sanitary District of Chicago, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) today is an award-winning, special-purpose district responsible for treating wastewater and providing stormwater management for residents and businesses in its service area, which encompasses 882.1 square miles and includes Chicago and 128 suburban communities throughout Cook County. The MWRD serves approximately 10.35 million people each day, including 5.25 million residents.
As the protector of our water resources, the MWRD continues to work diligently to protect Lake Michigan, the source of our drinking water, as well as the health and safety of citizens and area waterways. Some of the MWRD’s most notable achievements are reversing the flow of the Chicago and Calumet River Systems in the early 1900s, the construction of the North Shore Channel and the Tunnel and Reservoir Plan, which is also known as “TARP” or "Deep Tunnel.”
In its daily role, the MWRD strives to protect businesses, homes and neighborhoods from flood damages, clean wastewater entering our plants and manage water as a vital resource for the area. We are also actively developing innovative ways to recover and reuse resources, such as energy, biosolids, water, algae, phosphorus, nitrogen and other nutrients removed from the wastewater stream. Read our annual MWRD Agency Brochure for more detailed information.
We believe environmental leadership is our responsibility, so we are looking for solutions that can change the world and keep it safe and secure for future generations.