The Deep Tunnel: A Virtual Tour

A Zoom Tour with MWRD's Justin Brown

Created in 1889 as the Sanitary District of Chicago, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) today is an award-winning, special-purpose district responsible for treating wastewater and providing stormwater management for residents and businesses in its service area, which encompasses 882.1 square miles and includes Chicago and 128 suburban communities throughout Cook County. The MWRD serves approximately 10.35 million people each day, including 5.25 million residents. As the protector of our water resources, the MWRD continues to work diligently to protect Lake Michigan, the source of our drinking water, as well as the health and safety of citizens and area waterways. Some of the MWRD’s most notable achievements are reversing the flow of the Chicago and Calumet River Systems in the early 1900s, the construction of the North Shore Channel and the Tunnel and Reservoir Plan, which is also known as “TARP” or "Deep Tunnel.”

For this event, travel back in time to early Chicago to see how the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago reversed the Chicago River and developed wastewater treatment technology. Go behind the scenes and under water to see how MWRD transforms the water you use every day; descend 300 feet into the deep tunnel system, and watch the electrofishing crew at work sampling fish on the Chicago River. This event is co-sponsored by the Program on the Global Environment, and organized as part of UChicago ECo, a platform aimed at fostering connection among and support for the University of Chicago’s Environmental Community. Register on Zoom.