Skip to main content

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

More than 600 neighbors flocked to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago’s (MWRD’s) water reclamation plants as part of Chicago Water Week, an initiative facilitated by Current Water. The impressive crowd dedicated their Saturdays to attend open houses hosted at the O’Brien and Stickney water reclamation plants (WRPs) earlier this month in Skokie and Cicero. These events provided a valuable opportunity for the community to delve into the inner workings of these vital facilities and gain insight into the MWRD's commitment to environmental stewardship and innovation.

Tour group at O'Brien plant
Visitors tour the O’Brien Water Reclamation Plant in Skokie.

The open houses were held on May 4 and 11 and offered the public the opportunity to learn firsthand about the facilities and treatment methods that help the MWRD transform wastewater into clean water in a matter of hours. Visitors were led on tours by knowledgeable staff who explained the processes and the vital role these facilities play in protecting area waterways.

"The open houses at Stickney and O'Brien were fantastic opportunities for our community to engage with the MWRD and learn about the crucial work we do to safeguard public health and the environment," said MWRD President Kari K. Steele. "We were thrilled to welcome so many enthusiastic participants and showcase the dedication of our talented staff in operating these essential facilities."

In addition to the informative tours, the open houses featured interactive exhibits and educational displays highlighting the MWRD's efforts to promote water conservation, environmental stewardship, and public outreach.

Scout troop at Stickney Open House
Scouts at the Stickney Open House.

“Witnessing our professional staff explain their work to the public is an example of our commitment to community engagement,” said MWRD Vice President Patricia Theresa Flynn. “It was great seeing everyone actively engage in the tours, which reinforces the importance of transparency and collaboration in our mission to ensure a resilient water future for all."

During Chicago Water Week, a variety of water-focused events were independently organized and hosted by partner organizations. Chicago Water Week’s mission is to highlight the critical role of water in the environment, communities and economy; engaging regional leaders, policymakers, innovators, researchers, advocates and industry veterans; and connecting on business, social, technical, policy interests and more. The MWRD also hosted a virtual tour on May 7 as part of Chicago Water Week activities.

“We are grateful to all who attended the open houses at the Stickney and O'Brien Water Reclamation Plants,” said MWRD Chairman of Finance Marcelino Garcia. “These events underscore the MWRD's commitment to be leaders in sustainable water management practices.”

Vice President Flynn and Executive Director Brian Perkovich at Stickney Open House
(L-R) MWRD Exec. Director Brian Perkovich, Vice President Patricia Theresa Flynn and Aide to President Kari K. Steele John Joiner welcome visitors at the Stickney Open House.
Commissioner Garcia at Stickney Open House
(L-R):  MWRD Chairman of Finance Marcelino Garcia, Senior Administrative Specialist Jennifer Burns and Police Chief Paul Connolly during the O’Brien Water Reclamation Plant in Skokie.
President Steele at Chicago Water Week
MWRD President Kari K. Steele delivered welcoming remarks at the Chicago Water Week signature event to present the MWRD’s Board of Commissioners’ Resolution.
Commissioner Pogorzelski at Stickney Open House
(L-R): MWRD Commissioner Dan Pogorzelski with Public Affairs Specialist-Bilingual Melvin Laureano during the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant.
Goats grazing on the Stickney Open House tour
Visitors touring the property on the Stickney WRP bus were treated to a view of sheep and goats clearing vegetation.
Press Release
Events, Wastewater

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: