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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

WHO: Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) in conjunction with Lockport’s Old Canal Days

WHAT: The MWRD will host an open house and tours at its Lockport Powerhouse. 

WHERE: Lockport’s Old Canal Days, 303 W. 2nd St., Lockport Ill. Park then locate the MWRD booth to sign up for a free bus ride to Lockport Powerhouse. There is no parking available at the Powerhouse.

WHEN: Saturday, June 8, 2024, between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


After 10 years of restoration efforts, the MWRD will host an open house and tours at its historic Lockport Powerhouse. Visitors can step back in time and learn how it helped establish the canal to save the Chicago region and reverse the flow of the Chicago and Calumet River systems. Lockport Powerhouse has been generating hydroelectricity since 1907 and continues in operation today with upgraded state-of-the art technology. At the downstream end of the 76-mile Chicago Area Waterway System, where the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal meets the Des Plaines River, the Lockport Powerhouse helps maintain water levels and provide drainage for the Chicago area.

The open house is free, and no pre-registration is required. Guides will lead visitors through a captivating journey through the history and technology behind the Lockport Powerhouse used to control the levels of the waterways and generate clean energy. Tours offer interactive exhibits, photo opportunities and STEM activities for all ages. Tourgoers are encouraged to wear sturdy shoes and dress for an industrial environment.

In 2004, the National Park Service recognized the Powerhouse on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, it is considered the oldest hydroelectric plant in Illinois, providing clean energy, while also protecting area water quality, mitigating flooding and keeping waterways navigable. The event will celebrate this history, the historic facility’s preservation and the MWRD’s work with the City of Lockport and the Lockport Chamber of Commerce to protect the water environment.

The annual Old Canal Days attracts thousands of residents and visitors from all over the state to celebrate the I&M Canal and its contributions to the success of Lockport. The festival features a parade, carnival, artisan market, food trucks, family entertainment, fireworks and more. 

More information

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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