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Chicago River Sewage

Chicago River Runs Backwards: A Climate Change Reminder for Senator Kirk

Henry Henderson | Posted 06.16.2016 | Chicago
Henry Henderson

A series of storms swept through Chicago, with violent monsoons hitting hard during the evening rush hour. By 6:40 p.m., the Chicago River had had enough. It was filled to the brim as the region's dilapidated combined sewer system funneled much of the rainy onslaught into its banks.

Chicago's Investment in Cleaner, Greener Water

Henry Henderson | Posted 12.09.2013 | Chicago
Henry Henderson

For Chicago to compete, we must have infrastructure that offsets the economic and quality of life impacts that climate change is already throwing at us.

Will the Chicago River Change Course and Flow Back Into the Great Lakes?

Henry Henderson | Posted 02.23.2013 | Chicago
Henry Henderson

The next 50 years of climate change are already baked into the cake, so we need to get serious about dealing with the changes already upon us. We must think big, while also deploying the tools we have now that can help us meet the immediate challenges.

World Toilet Day Has a Different Meaning in Chicago

Henry Henderson | Posted 01.21.2013 | Chicago
Henry Henderson

While we celebrate the civilizing influence of indoor plumbing on International Toilet Day, there is nothing civil about the Greater Chicago Region dumping intestinal miasma on our southward neighbors.

Reversal & Fortune -- A Fateful Anniversary

Debra Shore | Posted 03.21.2012 | Chicago
Debra Shore

Today we can ponder what our region might have been like had we not reversed the Chicago River. It's a puzzle we're grappling with now as we contemplate carp, climate change, and a livable city for the 21st century.

Reverse Effect: A Genius Solution to the Chicago River and Asian Carp From Jeanne Gang

Henry Henderson | Posted 01.04.2012 | Chicago
Henry Henderson

No single solution can be immediately deployed that will address the many ills of the Chicago River -- or those in most of our urban waterways. What is required is steady, thoughtful and determined work.

Grading Senator Kirk's Lake Michigan Report Card

Henry Henderson | Posted 10.15.2011 | Chicago
Henry Henderson

While we could quibble with some of the letter grades assigned, Senator Kirk deserves much credit for putting together a valuable document that can help stimulate policy discussions about the health of the Great Lakes.

Lynne Peeples

Heavy Rain, Old Pipes, More People: A 'Perfect Storm' For Sewer Overflows | Lynne Peeples | Posted 11.01.2011 | Green

In the middle of last month's record heat wave, New York City warned its residents against cooling off in their local waterways. A four-alarm blaze ha...

The End of An Era: MWRD Votes to Disinfect Chicago River

Jack Darin | Posted 08.07.2011 | Chicago
Jack Darin

Today's vote by the MWRD Board of Commissioners means that soon Chicagoans can fully enjoy the Chicago River without worrying about getting sick.

The Chicago River Is Broken

Henry Henderson | Posted 08.01.2011 | Chicago
Henry Henderson

Senators and other elected officials have joined the public outcry for cleaning up the waterway and restoring it to meet acceptable standards for public health and safety. But this is not just an icky sewer problem.

You Can't Have a Third World River Mucking Up a World-Class City

Henry Henderson | Posted 07.19.2011 | Chicago
Henry Henderson

For years many have fought to clean up the Chicago River. One massive obstacle has prevented real action -- the regulators responsible for the Chicago Waterways, MWRD. It is time for MWRD to get in line.

Where I Stand on Cleaning Up the Chicago River

Debra Shore | Posted 07.18.2011 | Chicago
Debra Shore

Dumping effluent that contains very high levels of bacteria and other pathogens into the Chicago and Calumet Rivers is not exactly best practice in wastewater treatment. It is clear that we can do better.

Re-Envisioning the Chicago River: Carp and Courts Update Our Thinking

Henry Henderson | Posted 05.25.2011 | Chicago
Henry Henderson

We could be on the verge of significant action regarding the Chicago River. And, what do we have to thank for that, besides decades of hard work from lots of folks? Carp and courts.

Cleaning the Chicago River: Time for MWRD to Get on Board

Henry Henderson | Posted 05.25.2011 | Chicago
Henry Henderson

The EPA has discreetly, but effectively, made their wishes for a waterway that fulfills the requirements of the Clean Water Act known in the form of a letter submitted to the Illinois Pollution Board.

Windiest in the Windy City? MWRD

Henry Henderson | Posted 05.25.2011 | Chicago
Henry Henderson

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District oversees the water infrastructure for an 800+ square mile area around Chicago. This week, a pair of stories showed the District to be the windiest folks in the Windy City.

The Value of Water

Henry Henderson | Posted 05.25.2011 | Chicago
Henry Henderson

The water rich communities of the Great Lakes region do not understand the nature and value of their most precious resource.

Old Stockyards Dumping Ground Bubbly Creek Still Bubbling

Chicago Journal | TIM TALIAFERRO | Posted 05.25.2011 | Chicago

A chain link fence separates Bubbly Creek, a polluted backwater cul-de-sac of the Chicago River, from human contact near 35th Street and Racine Avenue...

Chicago River: From Open Sewer to Crown Jewel?

Henry Henderson | Posted 05.25.2011 | Chicago
Henry Henderson

While the city and residents have embraced the river, the governmental agency responsible for the waterway continues to turn its back to the river and consider it an open sewer.

The Audacity of Slope, or How The River Gets Its Groove Back

Debra Shore | Posted 05.25.2011 | Chicago
Debra Shore

One hundred and twenty years ago, no one asked, "What do we owe the Chicago River?" Yet today, making amends for past abuses seems to me to be the central biological, physical and moral challenge of our time.

The Chicago Floods: When Tragedy Hits Home

Ari Bendersky | Posted 05.25.2011 | Chicago
Ari Bendersky

News reports and official city press conferences tell one side of the story. Hearing first hand accounts from residents you learn a different side.

How Do You Clean The Chicago River

Chicago Public Radio | Gabriel Spitzer | Posted 05.25.2011 | Chicago

Illinois regulators want to disinfect the sewage that flows into waterways like the Chicago River. But the agency that would get that dirty job isn't ...