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For the Love Of Water (FLOW) is a summary of news from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.

Tuesday, August 02, 2022
Special to suffredin.org

August 2022 | Issue 23

For the Love Of Water (FLOW) is a summary of news from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.

In this edition

?Latest News

·MWRD seeks public comments on draft Climate Action Plan

·New Community Partnership Council seeking participants

·MWRD celebrates anniversary of Strategic Plan 2021-2025 by establishing web hub

·Applications available for MWRD assistance to help manage stormwater

·Buffalo Creek Reservoir officially unveiled

·MWRD commits to lower carbon footprint through electric vehicles

·MWRD welcomes USACE Major General Heitkamp to TARP

·Clean Water Act celebrates 50 years

Upcoming Events

·August 11 - Board of Commissioners to meet, 10:30 a.m.

·August 12 - Groundbreaking ceremony set for Robbins stormwater project, 11 a.m.

·August 14 - Friends of Chicago River Summer Float Party, 12:30 p.m.

·August 31 - Ribbon Cutting ceremony set for Aspen Trails Park in Mt. Prospect, 11 a.m.

Resources

·Household hazardous waste collection

·Save the Monarch butterfly

·Rain barrels for sale

·MWRD Employment Center

·Doing Business with the MWRD

·Become a Reporter! Report Waterway Blockages, Suspicious Dumping and Odors

Extras

?

·Historical Photo of the Month

·August 2022 Calendar

Latest News

MWRD seeks public comments on draft Climate Action Plan

The MWRD seeks public comments through August 8, 2022 on its draft Climate Action Plan which will guide our ongoing mission of protecting the region’s water environment over the next century. ?To read the plan, visit this link.

Strategic Plan Logo

New Community Partnership Council seeking participants

The MWRD's Calumet Water Reclamation Plant (WRP) Community Partnership Council (CPC) is a new initiative stemming from the MWRD’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan to engage with the community and expand partnership opportunities, and we are seeking participants.

The goal of the Calumet CPC is to serve as a liaison between the Calumet WRP and the neighboring community while ensuring the MWRD is a responsive neighbor and inclusive partner.

This 10-15-member CPC will provide a channel for two-way communication between the community and the MWRD. Those who wish to provide collaborative and thoughtful input from a partner perspective on MWRD’s projects and programs are encouraged to apply.

Each member shall serve a minimum two-year term. Each year the CPC will meet quarterly, twice at the Calumet WRP and twice virtually during business hours. The application process is open and closes August 31, 2022.

Council members will be selected from community-based organizations, schools, businesses, health care, and the general public to represent a diverse cross-section of the community.

For more information or to request an application form, please email public.affairs@mwrd.org. More information about the MWRD's Strategic Plan can be found at this link.

August 2022 | Issue 23

For the Love Of Water (FLOW) is a summary of news from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.

In this edition

?Latest News

·MWRD seeks public comments on draft Climate Action Plan

·New Community Partnership Council seeking participants

·MWRD celebrates anniversary of Strategic Plan 2021-2025 by establishing web hub

·Applications available for MWRD assistance to help manage stormwater

·Buffalo Creek Reservoir officially unveiled

·MWRD commits to lower carbon footprint through electric vehicles

·MWRD welcomes USACE Major General Heitkamp to TARP

·Clean Water Act celebrates 50 years

Upcoming Events

·August 11 - Board of Commissioners to meet, 10:30 a.m.

·August 12 - Groundbreaking ceremony set for Robbins stormwater project, 11 a.m.

·August 14 - Friends of Chicago River Summer Float Party, 12:30 p.m.

·August 31 - Ribbon Cutting ceremony set for Aspen Trails Park in Mt. Prospect, 11 a.m.

Resources

·Household hazardous waste collection

·Save the Monarch butterfly

·Rain barrels for sale

·MWRD Employment Center

·Doing Business with the MWRD

·Become a Reporter! Report Waterway Blockages, Suspicious Dumping and Odors

Extras

?

·Historical Photo of the Month

·August 2022 Calendar

Latest News

MWRD seeks public comments on draft Climate Action Plan

The MWRD seeks public comments through August 8, 2022 on its draft Climate Action Plan which will guide our ongoing mission of protecting the region’s water environment over the next century. ?To read the plan, visit this link.

Strategic Plan Logo

New Community Partnership Council seeking participants

The MWRD's Calumet Water Reclamation Plant (WRP) Community Partnership Council (CPC) is a new initiative stemming from the MWRD’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan to engage with the community and expand partnership opportunities, and we are seeking participants.

The goal of the Calumet CPC is to serve as a liaison between the Calumet WRP and the neighboring community while ensuring the MWRD is a responsive neighbor and inclusive partner.

This 10-15-member CPC will provide a channel for two-way communication between the community and the MWRD. Those who wish to provide collaborative and thoughtful input from a partner perspective on MWRD’s projects and programs are encouraged to apply.

Each member shall serve a minimum two-year term. Each year the CPC will meet quarterly, twice at the Calumet WRP and twice virtually during business hours. The application process is open and closes August 31, 2022.

Council members will be selected from community-based organizations, schools, businesses, health care, and the general public to represent a diverse cross-section of the community.

For more information or to request an application form, please email public.affairs@mwrd.org. More information about the MWRD's Strategic Plan can be found at this link.

MWRD celebrates anniversary of Strategic Plan 2021-2025 by establishing web hub

Since June 3, 2021, the MWRD has been working toward goals established in the MWRD’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan. The plan is designed to articulate the mission, vision, and strategic goals for the MWRD; identify a set of strategic initiatives to achieve those goals; and provide a framework for measuring progress and reviewing/updating the Plan on an annual basis. Download the plan here.

The Strategic Plan Hub has been created to publicly share information on the Plan's progress. The Hub aggregates reports, summaries, and infographics speaking to the Plan's goals and initiatives, along with related progress and developments. This content will be updated as additional information becomes available and goals are met.

The Implementation Team is also developing a more robust and interactive dashboard to be added to the Hub. The plan is to roll out a portion of the dashboard by the end of 2022, and it will be comprised of metrics that staff is already tracking; a full rollout is anticipated by the end of 2023. Read the full press release.

Applications available for MWRD assistance to help manage stormwater

What if you could use nature to help solve flooding, preserve local jobs and create habitat? And even better, what if your community could get funding to achieve all of these benefits? Then apply for MWRD support. Applications are now available for MWRD assistance to help manage stormwater.

Now through Labor Day, municipalities and public agencies are urged to apply for funding assistance from the MWRD to support local green infrastructure projects that mitigate flooding, protect area water quality and enhance public spaces.

Green infrastructure uses natural processes such as infiltration, evaporation, and transpiration in managing stormwater to prevent or reduce the flow of water from entering sewer systems. While conventional “gray” infrastructure enlists pipes and temporary storage to manage stormwater, green infrastructure solutions, like rain gardens and permeable pavement, can store water before it slowly soaks into the underlying soil. Over the last five years, the MWRD has selected more than 80 projects. For more information, including program guidelines, partnership responsibilities and eligibility requirements, visit mwrd.org/GI-app. Applications are due by Sept. 5.

The MWRD has completed more than 60 green infrastructure projects throughout Cook County since 2015, with more than 30 in progress. In total, once complete, these projects will retain more than 14.5 million gallons of stormwater volume per rain event.

For more information, contact Holly Sauter at SauterH@mwrd.org or GIApps@mwrd.org.

Read the full press release at this link.

?(In the photo: The Chicago Park District’s Rutherford Sayre Park is one of dozens of local community spaces that benefited from the MWRD’s Green Infrastructure Program.)

Buffalo ribbon

Ribbon-cutting held for Buffalo Creek Reservoir expansion

The MWRD, Villages of Buffalo Grove and Wheeling, Lake County Forest Preserve District (LCFPD), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other local leaders cut the ribbon on a project that alleviates flooding while improving public recreational spaces at the Buffalo Creek Forest Preserve. Watch the ceremony here and read the full press release here.

In the photo (L-R): State Sen. Adriane Johnson (30th Dist.), Lake County Forest Preserve District Commissioner Marah Altenberg, MWRD Commissioner Chakena D. Perry, MWRD President Kari K. Steele, Village of Buffalo Grove President Beverly Sussman, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Chicago District Commander Col. Paul Culberson, and Wheeling Village Manager Jon Sfondilis cut the ribbon on a $9.7 million investment to expand and improve Buffalo Creek Reservoir and forest preserve.

Buffalo Creek 2021

The Buffalo Creek project included public access improvements, enhanced the preserve’s natural features and expanded the reservoir’s volume to mitigate area flooding. Approximately 107 structures were removed from the floodplain, while more than 2,000 structures along Buffalo Creek and the main stem of the Des Plaines River receive some form of flood reduction benefit. Through a collaborative process with the LCFPD and Buffalo Grove, the project design incorporated LCFPD’s planned improvements while offering increased stormwater protection for Buffalo Grove and surrounding communities. The MWRD expanded the reservoir by excavating over 300,000 cubic yards of material.

MWRD commits to lower carbon footprint through electric vehicles

The first new all electric vehicles (EVs) were rolled out by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD), backing its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect taxpayers from increasing fuel costs and meet a goal to replace all passenger vehicles with EVs by 2030.

Despite pandemic-related manufacturing delays and worldwide microchip shortages, seven Chevy Bolts arrived at the MWRD in June. The EVs will be used at the MWRD’s Stickney and Calumet Water Reclamation Plants (WRPs) and main office building in downtown Chicago. The MWRD also has two electric transit vans on order and recently installed three charging stations.

The EVs are part of a pilot program to test the charging stations and applicability of EVs to the MWRDs operations. As EVs become more widely available in more model types, the MWRD plans to purchase additional EVs whenever current vehicles are replaced.

MWRD welcomes USACE Major General Heitkamp to TARP

Leaders with the MWRD welcomed Major General Richard Heitkamp, deputy commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in Washington, D.C., to view the progress on significant flood control projects that are protecting the Chicago region and the infrastructure behind them.

Major General Heitkamp and Col. Paul Culberson, commander and district engineer of the USACE, Chicago District were greeted by MWRD President Kari K. Steele, MWRD Executive Director Brian A. Perkovich and MWRD Assistant Director of Engineering Kevin Fitzpatrick at McCook Reservoir and at the MWRD’s Mainstream Pumping Station. The reservoir and pump station are two of the integral parts of the MWRD’s Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP) working to protect area waterways and Lake Michigan from pollution and reduce flooding in combined sewer areas.

The partnership between the MWRD and USACE Chicago District has been critical to the completion of TARP. Thanks to the support of the USACE, the MWRD received a lump sum payment of $33.8 million in 2019 to assume responsibility for the design and construction of remaining elements of the McCook Reservoir Stage II.

Unmatched in size throughout the world, TARP is comprised of four large tunnel systems over 110 miles in length and three giant reservoirs designed to reduce the amount of water pollution by holding untreated water until it can be cleaned at MWRD water reclamation plants.

?The McCook Reservoir currently has capacity to hold more than 3.5 billion gallons with another 6.5 billion gallons of storage available once complete. The Mainstream Pumping Station is one of three TARP pump stations. Sewage and stormwater entering the tunnels through drop shafts are carried to the station, where the flow is pumped to the MWRD's Stickney Water Reclamation Plant.

Clean Water Act celebrates 50th Anniversary

Elected officials and representatives from across various local and federal government agencies, planning organizations and non-profit leaders commemorated the anniversary of the Clean Water Act (CWA) during a gathering on July 15 along the South Branch of the Chicago River at Ping Tom Park in Chicago’s Chinatown community. The CWA established new legislation to regulate pollution and protect surface waters. These amendments to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948 provided the structure for regulating pollutant discharges into U.S. waters, gave the EPA authority to implement pollution control programs, set new water quality standards and paved the way for critical protection and planning support for Chicago area water resources. Equally as important, the CWA inspired a movement of water protection. Watch the ceremony at: https://youtu.be/G88Iw-jmP_0 and read the full press release at this link.

Clean water advocates gathered at Ping Tom Park on July 15 and included (L to R): Chicago Dept. of Water Man­agement First Deputy Commissioner Joel Vieyra, MWRD Commissioner Chakena D. Perry, MWRD President Kari K. Steele, MWRD Commissioner Eira L. Corral Sepúlveda, Friends of the Chicago River Executive Director Margaret Frisbie, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 Water Division Director Tera Fong, 25th Ward Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning Executive Director Erin Aleman, Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) President and CEO Darlene Hightower, Illinois Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers Report Card Executive Committee Brian Pawula, State Rep. Theresa Mah (2nd Dist.), Chicago Chapter of the Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI) Chair Saki Handa, Site Design Group Co-Founder and Principal Ernest Wong, and EWRI Vice Chair Joseph Wilk.

Upcoming Events

Board of Commissioners to meet August 11

?Pursuant to Public Act 101-0640, the MWRD will hold its Board of Commissioners Regular Board Meeting at 10:30 a.m. on Thurs., August 11.

Public comments may be made in person at 100 E. Erie Street during the Public Comment period. Everyone is required to wear a face mask, and social distancing guidelines will be followed.

All individuals attending the meeting are required to provide a government issued photo ID and proof that (1) they are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or (2) they have tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of the start of the meeting.

?

To view the meeting, visit our website at https://mwrd.legistar.com/calendar.aspx. Click the "In Progress" link under the Video Column. This link will be active when there is a meeting in session.

Groundbreaking ceremony set for Robbins stormwater project August 12

The MWRD, village of Robbins Mayor Darren E. Bryant and Robbins officials and a variety of integral project partners are set to break ground on an ambitious project to strengthen and revitalize the Robbins community. The kickoff on the highly anticipated Robbins Stormwater Park and Midlothian Creek Restoration Project to provide critical flood control and relief will take place at 3100 W. 135th Street on Friday, Aug. 12 at 11 a.m.

To address a history of severe flooding, the District will install new drainage and stormwater infrastructure to mitigate local overbank flooding from Midlothian Creek. The project will be completed in two phases and includes the construction of a diversion channel and stormwater pond and restoration of 2,200 linear feet of the creek through streambank stabilization and erosion control. Through the creation of a naturalized wetland detention area, the District will create a park-like setting in central Robbins designed to increase stormwater protection and enhance the community. The project is expected to be completed by late 2024.

The Robbins Stormwater Park and Mid­lothian Creek restoration will increase the stormwater drainage sys­tem from less than a 5-year storm level of protection to a 100-year level of ser­vice. The project will remove approximately 140 acres from the flood plain, protect 92 structures and remove more than 1,300 parcels from the 100-year floodplain. Read the fact sheet.

floaters

Friends of Chicago River's Summer Float Party on Aug. 14

Friends of Chicago River will host the 2022 Summer Float Party on the North Branch of the Chicago River on Sunday, August 14 from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Floaters will depart from the boat launch at west River Park in Chicago and drift downstream to Clark Park. An after party will take place from 3-5 p.m. at Clark Park. Grab your float and register to participate at this link.

Ribbon Cutting ceremony set for Aspen Trails Park in Mt. Prospect on August 31 at 11 a.m.

At 11 a.m. on Wednesday, August 31, the MWRD, officials from the Village of Mount Prospect and the River Trails Park District will commemorate the completion of the Aspen Trails Stormwater Storage and Relief Sewers Project.

The Aspen Trails improvements include construction of a 17-acre-feet underground stormwater detention vault beneath the existing park footprint, equipped to store more than 5.5 million gallons of water. The underground detention system in the park, a new storm sewer under Aspen Drive, and the curbs, sidewalks, driveways and parkways restoration were recently installed. This project will provide park upgrades and underground flood storage and associated relief sewers at Aspen Trails Park to provide flood relief for approximately 100 structures.

Resources

HHW

Household Hazardous Waste Collection

Dispose of your household chemicals responsibly and recycle your old computers by dropping them off at the City of Chicago's permanent Household Chemicals & Computer Recycling Facility at 1150 N. North Branch Street (two blocks east of the Kennedy Expressway at Division Street).

When thrown out with our garbage, household chemicals and computers, which often contain hazardous substances, such as lead, mercury, and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) can contaminate our air, soil and water. Through proper disposal methods or recycling, these hazardous substances are reprocessed and reused in an environmentally-responsible manner.

The Household Chemical and Computer Recycling Facility accepts a range of items, including household cleaners, oil-based paints, solvents, cell phones, compact fluorescent light bulbs, computers and related equipment to name a few. It does not accept business/commercial sector wastes, explosives, fireworks or latex paint.

During business hours, an attendant is outside, ready to help unload your vehicle and accept your materials. Materials should not be left outside the facility unattended. Scheduled business hours are:

·Tuesdays 7 am - Noon

·Thursdays 2 pm - 7 pm

·The first Saturday of every month 8 am - 3 pm

See which items will be accepted by visiting this link.

monarch

Save the Monarch Butterfly

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has added migratory monarch butterflies to their list of Threatened Species. This means Monarch butterflies are now in danger of extinction. In fact, 99.9% of the Western monarch butterfly population has disappeared since 1980. We all can help by planting milkweed which is the monarch caterpillar's only source of food. Visit mwrd.org/save-monarchs and take the pledge to help save monarchs.

rain barrels

Rain Barrels for sale

55 gallon rain barrels are available while supplies last for Cook County residents. These barrels capture rainwater from your roof to save for later use.

You can use rain barrel water to wash your car, water your lawn, or clean work boots and tools. Rain barrel water is naturally free of chlorine, lime, and calcium. Since this water is runoff from your roof, do not drink it.

By keeping this water out of the sewer system, the barrels can help prevent sewer overflows and flooding. Purchase rain barrels through the MWRD website athttps://mwrd.org/rain-barrels. Rain barrel deliveries can take up to 30 days from the day an order is placed. If you have questions regarding an order, please contact the vendor at (844) 4-BARREL.

MWRD Employment Center

Are you seeking a new career or looking for your first job?

?Do you or someone you know have a love for the environment? If so, please visit our online employment center at this link to register, apply and learn more about jobs and the selection process at the MWRD. We also enjoy participating in job fairs throughout the county so stop by our table if you are in attendance!

heavy lifting pipefitter

McCook Reservoir

Doing Business with the MWRD

Want to learn how to do business with the MWRD? Visit this link to get started. You'll find many resources, including videos presented by our Director of Procurement and Materials Management and Engineering and Diversity Administrator.

The Department of Procurement and Materials Management procures materials and services required for operations in compliance with the Purchasing Act. The mission of the Diversity Section is to ensure that minority owned (MBE), women owned (WBE), small (SBE), and veteran owned (VBE) business enterprises are given equal opportunities to participate in the performance of the MWRD’s construction program and professional service contracts in excess of $100,000.

Our procurement process is designed to ensure the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars, so we encourage you to register to become a vendor.

Procurement page 1

Procurement Spanish pg 1

Become a reporter!

There are three ways the public can report waterway blockages, illegal or suspicious dumping to waterways or sewers, or odors. Call 800-332-DUMP (3867) or, in Spanish, 855-323-4801, on our websitehttps://gispub.mwrd.org/incidentreporting/and through iOS apphttps://apps.apple.com/us/app/mwrd-citizen-incident-reporting/id914049460?ls=1

Odor hotline

Odor hotline Spanish

Extras

Historical Photo: Construction of the west side of the Jackson St bridge over the South Branch of the Chicago River on November 25, 1914.

August 2022 Calendar

?

Caption: A herd of goats and sheep are recruited each year by the MWRD to graze on dozens of acres of shrubs, plants, overgrowth and native prairie landscaping (NPL) growing outside MWRD facilities. the MWRD has more than 50 acres of NPL service as green infrastructure, soaking up more stormwater to improve local water quality, sequester carbon, and increase biodiversity and wildlife.

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago | mwrd.org

Missed an edition of FLOW? Find past issues on our website under the "News" tab.

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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago | 100 E. Erie Street, Chicago, IL 60611

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