SP pinwheel


The Strategic Goal of Resource Management is designed to maintain a high level of performance on the MWRD’s core mission of protecting the public health and area waterways while pursuing opportunities to recover, reuse, and monetize resources.


SP Logo Permit Compliance 

Peak Performance logo

Six of the MWRD’s water reclamation plants earned a National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) 2020 Peak Performance Platinum award, meeting the Strategic Plan’s stretch goal of 100% NPDES permit compliance for at least five consecutive years. Additionally, one water reclamation plant earned a NACWA 2020 Peak Performance Gold Award and meets the Strategic Plan baseline target of 100% NPDES compliance.  

The MWRD 2020 Peak Performance Platinum Awards (100% NPDES Compliance for at least 5 years) are: 

  • Calumet Water Reclamation Plant, Chicago, 29 years 
  • Lemont Water Reclamation Plant, Lemont, 24 years 
  • James C. Kirie Water Reclamation Plant, Des Plaines, 16 years 
  • O’Brien Water Reclamation Plant, Skokie, 15 years 
  • Hanover Park Water Reclamation Plant, Hanover Park, 13 years 
  • John E. Egan Water Reclamation Plant, Schaumburg, 7 years 

The MWRD 2020 Peak Performance Gold Award (100% NPDES Permit Compliance for 1 to 4 years) is: 

  • Stickney Water Reclamation Plant, Cicero, 1 year 

The 2021 Peak Performance Awards will be awarded later in 2022. 

Additional Information: 

NACWA Peak Performance Awards  

MWRD Press Release


Stategic Plan logo Biogas Utilization 

Biogas Utilization graph
The MWRD beneficially reuses the biogas generated through its wastewater treatment process for digester heating, boiler operations, and the biosolids pelletizer. In 2021, the MWRD was able to utilize 93.7% of the biogas generated, and that 9,610,860 therms is equivalent to heating over 7,400 single family homes. By beneficially reusing this biogas, the MWRD avoided approximately 45,920 metric tons of greenhouse gases (as measured in carbon dioxide equivalent) that would be associated with purchased natural gas.


Stategic Plan logo Biosolids Utilization

Biosolids are a product of wastewater treatment; it serves as a beneficial and sustainable soil amendment and alternative to synthetic fertilizer to supply organic matter and plant nutrients and improve the quality of soils. The MWRD's biosolids are applied directly to farmland in nearby counties; additionally, some of its biosolids are further processed to produce Exceptional Quality (EQ) air-dried biosolids and compost for use on recreational areas in the Chicago metro area. Approximately one-third of the MWRD's biosolids are converted to EQ biosolids pellets at a heat drying pelletizing facility owned and operated by a private entity which is also responsible for distribution of the pellets.  

2021 Biosolids


Stategic Plan logo Innovation Ecosystem

An innovation ecosystem is a network of partners who work together to discover, develop, and deploy ideas that bring value to the network and its community at large. The MWRD partners with a multitude of organizations to leverage its resources for the betterment of the industry and society; partnerships include federal laboratories, other government agencies, universities, and professional organizations. The MWRD currently has 27 active projects with external partners reviewing the evolving challenges of our industry.  


The information presented here is meant to provide context for this Strategic Goal and serves as a baseline for efforts going forward. We are still in the early stages of implementation; as we progress further through the Strategic Plan, we will provide more information as it becomes available.


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