We are still accepting WMO permit applications. For those that have submitted applications, the applications are being reviewed. Click here for instructions on how to submit WMO documents electronically.

The MWRD now offers electronic payment for WMO permit fees. Please submit a Fee Payment Voucher form with your new permit application or re-submittal to identify the permit fees. Click here to make the payment.  

The Watershed Management Ordinance (WMO)

The Watershed Management Ordinance (WMO) applies to all development within the boundaries of Cook County, Illinois, and qualified sewer construction within the MWRD’s corporate boundaries or service agreement areas. Components which are regulated under the WMO include qualified sewer construction, drainage and detention, volume control, floodplain management, isolated wetland protection, riparian environment protection, and soil erosion and sediment control. The WMO went into effect on May 1, 2014. 

On May 7, 2020, the MWRD’s Board of Commissioners adopted an amendment to the WMO including changes to allow the regional stormwater detention and volume control trading program pilot study to commence, and updates to rainfall data from Bulletin 70 (2019) to Bulletin 75. The amended version of the WMO and the redline changes are accessible through the General Information link below.

General Information

Technical Information

Electronic Submittals

Electronic Payment


As a reminder, all permit application submittals must comply with the new Watershed Specific Release Rates, Bulletin 75, and redevelopment changes.  Slides from our training October 2019 training sessions are accessible through the link below.

WMO Training Slides


The MWRD is in the process of amending the WMO.  Information about the proposed amendment can be found here.


Request to be added to our contact list to keep current with the latest WMO updates via email WMOupdates@mwrd.org.

If you have any questions about the WMO, contact Ms. Maureen Durkin at (312) 751-3250 or DurkinM@mwrd.org or Mr. Dan Feltes at (312) 751-3247 or FeltesD@mwrd.org.

If you have any questions regarding an inspection, contact the Field Office at (708) 588-4055.

If an applicant has reviewed all available WMO resources and still has questions on whether or not a Watershed Management Permit is required for a particular project, the applicant may petition the MWRD (in writing) for a determination.

A letter describing the project, with any supporting exhibits and documentation, should be sent to:

Lolita Thompson
Engineering Department - Local Sewer Systems Section
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago 
111 East Erie Street 
Chicago, IL 60611-2893


Watershed Management Ordinance Petitions for Variance

Article 11 of the District’s Watershed Management Ordinance allows for Petitions for Variance. Petitions for Variance received to date are:

Petition for Variance Petitioner/Location Filing Date: Comments Due By: Next Hearing Date Status
WMO-VP-21-02 Village of Schaumburg, Schaumburg, IL 3/1/2021 6/11/2021 To Be Determined Pending
WMO-VP-21-01 Hotel Mannheim Group, Rosemont, IL 1/21/2021 N/A N/A Withdrawn
WMO-VP-17-01 Fresenius Kabi, Melrose  Park 11/30/2017 12/18/2017 N/A Withdrawn


Any person may mail written comments regarding a Petition for Variance to the Clerk of the District within twenty-one (21) calendar days after publication of the petition. All written comments should be sent to the following address:

Clerk of the District
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago
100 East Erie Street
Chicago, Illinois 60611 


Infiltration/Inflow Control Program

Excessive infiltration and inflow (I/I) into the sanitary sewer system is a serious problem that contributes to sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) and basement backups (BBs). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Illinois EPA (IEPA) imposed special conditions in the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits issued for the MWRD’s Water Reclamation Plants (WRPs) that requires tributary local separate sanitary sewer satellite entities to implement measures in addition to those required under the 1985 Sewer Summit Agreement if excessive I/I in the system causes or contributes to SSOs or BBs. Due to this mandate, the MWRD incorporated an updated Infiltration and Inflow Control Program (IICP) that was developed with the help of an Advisory Technical Panel (ATP) into the Watershed Management Ordinance (WMO).

General Information 

Technical Information 


If you have any questions about the Infiltration/Inflow Control Program, contact Ms. Ann Gray at (312) 751-3085, GrayA@mwrd.org, or the below address.

Ann Gray
Engineering Department - Local Sewers System Section
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago 
111 East Erie Street 
Chicago, IL 60611-2893