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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Chicago, ILWebsite
The MWRD treats wastewater and manages stormwater for the Chicago region.






Founded year




Mission & purpose

Established in 1889, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago is an award-winning, special purpose government agency responsible for wastewater treatment and stormwater management in Cook County, Illinois. The MWRD provides services throughout an 883 square mile area which includes the City of Chicago and suburban communities. The MWRD serves an equivalent pop. of 10.35 million citizens; 5.25 million people, a commercial and industrial equivalent of 4.5 million people, and a combined sewer overflow of .6 million people. The MWRD's 554 miles of intercepting sewers and force mains range in size from 12 inches to 27 feet in diameter and are fed by approximately 10,000 local sewer system connections. The MWRD's Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP) is one of the country’s largest public works projects for pollution and flood control. Four tunnel systems total 109 miles of tunnels, nine to 33 feet in diameter and 150 to 300 feet underground, are in operation. Three TARP reservoirs are in operation and construction is in progress on the remaining 6.5 billion gallon portion of the McCook Reservoir. The MWRD owns and operates the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant, the world’s largest, in addition to six other plants and 23 pumping stations. Treating an average of 1.4 billion gallons of wastewater each day, the MWRD's total wastewater treatment capacity is over 2 billion gallons per day. The MWRD recycles all biosolids and has an aggressive outreach program.