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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

At a forum hosted by Lyons Township with U.S. Rep. Sean Casten (6th Dist.), leaders with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) highlighted numerous projects and partnerships in the area aimed at assisting local communities with solutions to help mitigate the impacts of flooding and protect regional water quality.

The Lunch and Learn event entitled “Charting 135 Years of Environmental Transformation” on Feb. 26 allowed MWRD Vice President Patricia Theresa Flynn, Chairman of Finance Marcelino Garcia, Commissioner Dan Pogorzelski and MWRD engineers the opportunity to showcase the many projects the MWRD has invested in to promote climate resiliency.

U.S. Representative Sean Casten
Cook County Commissioner Frank Aguilar (16th Dist.), MWRD Executive Director Brian A. Perkovich, MWRD Vice President Patricia Theresa Flynn, U.S. Rep. Sean Casten (6th Dist.), Lyons Township Supervisor and Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty, MWRD Chairman of Finance Marcelino Garcia and MWRD Commissioner Dan Pogorzelski attend the Lyons Township Lunch and Learn event to discuss stormwater management strategies.

“We count on partners like the local townships and municipalities, along with federal, state, and Cook County agencies to leverage our resources to protect our health and water environment,” said MWRD President Kari K. Steele. “We thank our partners at Lyons Township, Rep. Casten and the many local communities calling this township and district home. Because of this collaboration, we have created a path toward sustainability and protection of the water environment.”

In Lyons Township alone, in less than a decade, the MWRD has completed or working toward the completion of more than $38 million in stormwater management projects. These investments will benefit an estimated 696 homes, businesses and structures throughout Lyons Township communities. The MWRD recently secured over $4 million dollars through an agreement with Cook County and their American Rescue Plan Act funding towards projects within the area of Lyons Township. 


“The MWRD has been busy advancing critical stormwater improvements that benefit all of our constituents here in Lyons Township and beyond,” said Vice President Flynn. “These projects range from small-scale green infrastructure improvements that reduce the amount of runoff entering local sewer systems, to medium-sized local partnership projects that help manage and slow down stormwater, and large-scale infrastructure like our Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP).”

TARP, or Deep Tunnel, as it is known, is a vast network of more than 110 miles of deep tunnel running 300 feet below us and 3 massive reservoirs that protect area waterways and the source of our drinking water in Lake Michigan. Since the MWRD first introduced tunnel segments in the early 1980s, MWRD officials estimate they have captured more than 1 trillion gallons of stormwater and sewage that without this system in place, could have overwhelmed the environment and communities serviced by combined sewer systems. 

Despite the recent threat of multiple government shutdowns, Rep. Casten said there are still opportunities and resources available, and he will continue to push for federal partnerships. In his remarks, Rep. Casten talked about the importance of flood mitigation work throughout his district.

“I was glad to join representatives from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and municipal leaders in the Township of Lyons to discuss flooding and stormwater issues in Illinois and how to best address them on the local, state, and federal level,” said Rep. Casten.

Lyons Township staff
MWRD Vice President Patricia Theresa Flynn offers welcoming remarks to Lyons Township leaders and introduces MWRD plans to combat climate change.

Representing the township were various municipal leaders, trustees, public works experts and township leaders working hard for resources to stem a changing climate and promote climate resilience. Lyons Mayor and Lyons Township Supervisor Christopher Getty, Lyons Township Assessor Patrick Hynes, Lyons Township Clerk Elyse Hoffenberg, Highway Commissioner and City of Countryside Mayor Sean McDermott and township trustees were joined by Cook County Commissioner Frank J. Aguilar (16th Dist.) Illinois Senate Minority Leader Sen. John Curran (41st Dist.), Village of Bridgeview Mayor Steve Landek, Village of Indian Head Park Village President Amy Jo Wittenberg, Village of La Grange President Mark Kuchler, Village of McCook Mayor Terry Carr, Willow Springs Village President Melissa Neddermeyer, and many local leaders representing Bedford Park, Brookfield, Burr Ridge, Hickory Hills, Hinsdale, Hodgkins, Justice, La Grange Highlands, Riverside, Summit and Western Springs.


“The working meeting with Congressman Sean Casten, MWRD, and area municipal leaders was very impactful. We appreciate the commitment by the Water Reclamation District to stormwater mitigation within Lyons Township and the County as a whole,” said Township Supervisor Christopher Getty.

The meeting was also an opportunity to promote the MWRD’s request for volunteer leaders from the area to apply to serve on the newly formed Stickney Water Reclamation Plant (WRP) Community Partnership Council (CPC). The primary objective of the Stickney CPC is to establish a robust connection between the Stickney WRP and the surrounding community, ensuring that the MWRD remains a responsive neighbor and an inclusive partner in progress. For more information or to request an application form, please contact

View the Lyons Township meeting

Rep. Casten with Commissioners
Commissioner Flynn addresses Lyons Township
Press Release
Education, Stormwater

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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