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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Learning about broken water pipes in south suburban Dixmoor, the clean water ambassadors at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) sprang into action.

MWRD staff and commissioners organized a voluntary “Clean Water Fund” initiative, also known as “Bucks for Bottles fund,” and raised more than $2,300 to purchase and distribute water bottles for Dixmoor residents, who were forced to boil water and cancel school in the fall of 2022 following bursting pipes and infrastructure challenges. Although the MWRD manages wastewater and stormwater and does not provide drinking water services, hearing any clean water crisis incited them to reach into their pockets and find a way to help. Standing outside in the single digit temperatures on Feb. 3, MWRD commissioners and staff joined Mayor Fitzgerald Roberts and village trustees to deliver more than 20,000 water bottles to Dixmoor residents.

“Thank you to our partners in helping us unload and distribute water and to our commissioners and staff who, out of compassion and the goodness of their hearts, responded to the call to action and began donating funds,” said MWRD President Kari K. Steele. “We hope this initiative and our contribution will provide some relief for Dixmoor residents. Even though we are the agency that treats wastewater, we take any water crisis seriously, especially in the communities we serve across Cook County.”

President Steele, along with Vice President Kim Du Buclet, Commissioner Yumeka Brown, Commissioner Patricia Theresa Flynn and Commissioner Daniel Pogorzelski distributed the cases of water to residents who pulled up in their vehicles. Dolton Mayor and Thornton Township Supervisor Tiffany Henyard, Cook County Commissioner Monica Gordon (5th Dist.) and Rich Township Supervisor Calvin Jordan also came out to help with the distribution efforts.

“When we heard about the situation in Dixmoor, so many of us were moved by their plight, we just knew we had to do something,” said MWRD Vice President Du Buclet. “I am so proud of the excellent participation by our Commissioners and employees. We know that clean water is a basic need, and no one should ever be without it.”

Dixmoor, which has a population of less than 3,000 residents, has received funding to repair its water mains and other piping with construction set to begin next month. MWRD commissioners and staff also held a similar fundraiser for Jackson, Miss., where residents were cut off from safe drinking water due to needed infrastructure repairs and flooding in 2022.


Press Release
Awards and Announcements

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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