Cicero, IL… State Representative Margo McDermed toured the largest wastewater facility in the world on Friday. The Stickney Water Reclamation Plant (WRP) is one of seven wastewater treatment facilities owned and operated by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD). The MWRD is the largest landowner in Cook County and in the top ten statewide.
“The operational capacity of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District is a true feat of civil engineering,” Rep. McDermed said. “It’s not something most people like to consider, but what happens to the water that goes down our drains and our sewers is essential to a productive, clean community.”
The MWRD is the wastewater treatment and stormwater management agency for the City of Chicago and 125 Cook County communities. It was created by the General Assembly in the 1890s and was responsible for the infamous reversing of the Chicago River. Today it has an 883 square mile service area.
The average WRP in the state of Illinois treats one million gallons per day. At maximum capacity, the Stickney WRP can treat that volume in one minute. The plant can handle well over a billion gallons in wastewater a day.
“The sincere steps they are taking at Stickney to increase efficiency and re-use are almost unheard of in government,” Rep. McDermed continued.
The MWRD is one of the 20 biggest users of electricity in the state, but is making great strides in their effort to turn their wastewater processes electricity neutral. Bio-solids and other residuals removed from the water are recycled and sold to outside contractors.