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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

About the Plant

  • 268 employees
  • 9 buildings on 275.4 acres
  • In operation since September 11, 1922

Receiving Stream

  • Little Calumet River

Treatment Volume

  • 354 million gallons/day (avg.)
  • 430 million gallons/day (max.)

Calumet WRP Fact Sheet

Schedule a Tour

Tuesdays, 9 a.m.
2 hours
Link to Form

The Calumet 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 large 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 Calumet WRP is the oldest of the MWRD’s seven WRPs. In operation since 1922, it serves residents and businesses in the southern portion of Cook County. At the time of its opening, the 16-mile Calumet-Sag Channel had just become operational. By 1928, the plant served a population of 155,000. At present the plant’s service population is over one million people in an area of about 300 square miles.