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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) has been working around the clock to provide flood protection for Cook County. We monitor the weather, and prior to major storms, we draw down the waterways to provide maximum capacity for stormwater. Our goal is to provide maximum capacity in the area waterways, tunnels and reservoir system to provide as much protection from flooding as possible. 

When the Chicago area waterway levels are higher than Lake Michigan and predetermined elevations are reached, the MWRD opens control structures to move as much water as possible out of the system. This provides overbank flooding protection as well as more capacity for stormwater.  

More than 5 inches of rain fell in a short period of time throughout Cook County this weekend. More than 8 inches fell in Cicero and Berwyn. The Stickney Water Reclamation Plant is operating at full capacity.

Tunnel and Reservoir Plan status

Following the storms on July 2, the McCook TARP system, which serves central Chicago and 36 suburban communities (including Cicero and Berwyn), was full, storing approximately 4.8 billion gallons of water. 

The Kirie TARP system in the center of northern Cook County was 18% full, holding 75.2 million gallons.

The Calumet TARP system serves the far South Side of Chicago and 13 south suburban municipalities and was 14% full, storing 1.2 billion gallons.

All of this water will be pumped back to treatment plants when conditions permit.

River Reversals

We reversed the North Shore Channel at Wilmette and at the downtown locks.  Here is the timeframe of the two reversals:

North Shore Channel/Wilmette

Start      July 2 at 2:27 p.m.

End       July 2 at 9:47 p.m.

Chicago River/downtown

Start      July 2 at 4 p.m.

End       July 3 at 2:30 a.m.

View Storm Data from the National Weather Service

july 3 7pm storm update final.pdf

Press Release

Established in 1889, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is an award-winning, special purpose government agency responsible for wastewater treatment and stormwater management in Cook County, Illinois.


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