Skip to main content

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Now Accepting Trucked High- Strength Organic Materials at Stickney and Calumet Water Reclamation Plants

If you generate high strength organic waste that you are currently trucking offsite for final disposition, you may be interested in the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago’s (District) new Resource Recovery program which is now accepting trucked wastes at some of its water reclamation plants (WRPs). 

Recent and ongoing implementation of the enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) process at our facilities is now enabling us to accept increased readily biodegradable carbon loading at our WRPs. The District will be accepting non-hazardous high-strength organic material (HSOM) containing elevated concentrations of chemical oxygen demand (COD) or biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) from outside sources. Examples of acceptable HSOM are food processing, brewery, restaurant and sugary/starchy wastes which are homogenous liquids, or slurries high in organic content that are typically too concentrated to be disposed of by discharge to the sewerage system. The HSOM would be delivered to our WRPs by tank truck for direct addition to the EBPR system. Such trucked materials would not be subject to provisions of the District’s User Charge Ordinance.

If you would like to explore this alternative management option for waste or byproducts having BOD or COD concentrations of 75,000 mg/L or above, we would like to hear from you. Please contact us at for more information. Documents required for enrollment in the program can be downloaded from the District’s website.

A Reminder to all Significant Industrial Users (SIUs) Regarding Renewal of Discharge Authorizations (DAs)

It is critical that each SIU notify the District in a timely fashion of the need to renew their DA. Appendix D, Section 5 of the District’s Sewage and Waste Control Ordinance (Ordinance) requires an SIU to submit a Discharge Authorization Request (DAR) form not less than 90 days prior to the expiration date of the existing DA. In the absence of any operational changes or process modifications, a simple signed statement requesting DA renewal is acceptable in lieu of a DAR.

Any SIU that requests an increase in wastewater discharge volume limits must also include a certification from a professional engineer registered in the state of Illinois, indicating that the pretreatment system has the hydraulic capacity to handle the requested increase in volume and still meet local and federal pollutant limits.

Failure to request your DA renewal in a timely fashion pursuant to the provisions of the Ordinance could result in the assessment of costly late filing fees or formal enforcement action for discharging process wastewater in the absence of a valid DA.

For additional information or assistance, please contact the District’s Industrial Waste Division, Pretreatment and Cost Recovery Section, at (312) 751-3044.

Before Cutting that Meter Seal, You must….

The following applies to Users’ privately-owned meters that have been approved by the District for User Charge reporting purposes. The meters are used for measuring water losses or for establishing wastewater flow distribution across multiple outfalls. Reporting based on such meters may reduce your User Charge liabilities. Please call the Pretreatment and Cost Recovery Section at (312) 751-3044 for more information.

When a District seal on a meter is to be removed for meter calibration or repair, the District must be notified immediately by calling the Pretreatment and Cost Recovery Section. Removal of a District seal without providing the foregoing notification may result in a loss of credit for deducted water volumes or the use of a wastewater flow distribution for the entire year.

When notifying the District please provide the following information:

  1. Serial number and location of meter;
  2. Reason for breaking seal (i.e. meter removed for calibration, meter repair, etc.);
  3. Date meter was removed; and 
  4. Meter reading at the time of removal

After the work is completed and the meter is replaced or reinstalled, notify the District with the following information:

  1. Date meter was replaced or reinstalled; 
  2. Serial number of new meter (if applicable);
  3. Meter reading at the time of replacement or reinstallation; and
  4. Copy of most recent calibration certificate

Note: If the make and model of the replacement meter is different than the previously approved meter, then specifications should be submitted to the District prior to installation for District acceptance.

District personnel will then schedule a time to read, inspect, and verify the meter information at your facility. If you have any questions, please contact your account specialist or call us at (312) 751-3044.

MWRD 2014, 2015 and 2016 User Satisfaction Survey Results

Survey Distribution

All Large Commercial Industrial and Tax Exempt Users (over 900 Users) that were required to file a User Charge Annual Certified Statement (RD-925) were asked to complete a survey either online through or using a paper version. The number of responses received were as follows: 2014: 22 responses, 2015: 9 responses, 2016: 26 responses

Survey Format

The 2014 and 2015 Surveys were comprised of 5 questions. In 2016, a 6th question, asking respondents to rate their overall satisfaction, was added. Questions 1 and 2 asked respondents to rate their satisfaction with IWD programs and personnel based on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being not satisfied and 5 being very satisfied. Questions 3 and 4 asked respondents to rate the degree of difficulty in completing the District’s User Charge and Pretreatment forms and navigating the District’s website based on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being difficult and 5 being easy. Question 5 asked respondents to select the two most important aspects of the IWD program that need improvement.

Survey Results

The results showed that respondents were overall very satisfied with the interactions they had with the IWD staff and were satisfied with the User Charge and Pretreatment programs. In 2015, a new RD-925 form was introduced, which might explain why the 2015 average was the lowest. However, by 2016 the same form had a much higher average. In all three years, respondents found the District’s website somewhat difficult to navigate and noted that search results were cumbersome.


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.


For more information: