Every Day We are Closer to Swimming in the River

After 15 years effort Friends was cheering when the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) opened the new disinfection system at the Calumet Wastewater Treatment Plant this summer with a press conference and ribbon cutting to mark the occasion. 

The event was attended by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, USEPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman, MWRD Commissioners, Friends' staff, and many others who worked long and hard to see this day come. The new facility uses chlorination/dechlorination to treat wastewater effluent from the plant which is discharged into the Little Calumet River. “This is really the next step toward swimming in the river,” said Margaret Frisbie, executive director of Friends of the Chicago River. 

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Sewage Effluent Disinfection Starts Today!

Don’t jump in yet but after more than a decade of advocacy, Friends is thrilled that starting today sewage effluent disinfection is online at the MWRD’s Calumet wastewater treatment plant to remove disease causing bacteria from its discharge.

“This is a historic moment for the Chicago/Calumet River System and one of the most significant water quality improvements in decades,” said Margaret Frisbie, Friends’ executive director, at this morning’s press conference with the MWRD and Senator Dick Durbin. “It will make the river safer for recreators and moves us closer to our ultimate goal of a river clean enough for swimming.”

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