Chicago Mainstream Pumping Station Tour


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Photo highlights from Water and Wastes Digest, Water Quality Products, and Stormwater Solutions magazine staff site visit with Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRDGC)

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Chicago Mainstream Pumping Station Tour

  1. 1. Chicago Mainstream Pumping Station Tour Photo Highlights From WWD, WQP and SWS Staff Site Visit With Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRDGC) By Neda Simeonova Caitlin Cunningham Elizabeth Lisican Kate Cline
  2. 2. Mainstream Pumping Station The Mainstream Pumping Station in Hodgkins, Ill., is one of three stations within the Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP, also known as Deep Tunnel). Here tour leader and Chief Operating Engineer Henry Marks explains the system.
  3. 3. Mainstream Pumping Station (continued) After learning all about the TARP project’s rich history dating back to 1972, editorial staff members eagerly gear up and set out to experience Mainstream Pumping Station up close. The first stop on the tour is a short drive from the main facility at the dewatering station, where we are about to travel underground.
  4. 4. Dewatering Station The Mainstream System is comprised of dozens of miles of tunnel with diameters ranging from 8 to 33 ft and depths up to 300 ft underground. The Deep Tunnel was designed to prevent backflows into Lake Michigan, eliminate waterway pollution caused by combined sewer overflows and provide an outlet for floodwaters.
  5. 5. Dewatering Station (continued) Sewage and storm water entering the tunnels through drop shafts are carried to the Mainstream Pumping Station, where the flow is pumped to the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant.
  6. 6. Dewatering Station (continued) Marks guides the editorial staff as we descend via elevator into the dewatering station.
  7. 7. Trash Removal Sewage is screened in the Trash Removal room to remove all large objects carried in the waste stream.
  8. 8. Pump House Next, we head to the pump house and descend once again, this time all the way down 350 ft below ground. The Mainstream Pumping Station is the largest underground sewage pumping station in the world.
  9. 9. Pump House (continued) Editors view all four pumps from atop the pump house.
  10. 10. McCook Reservoir McCook Reservoir is under construction. When complete, it will have a total capacity of 10 billion gal. Phase I of this reservoir is scheduled to finish by 2017. The other reservoirs within TARP are the O’Hare CUP Reservoir and Thornton Composite Reservoir.
  11. 11. McCook Reservoir (continued)
  12. 12. Biosolids MWRDGC aims to produce high- quality biosolids that can be put to productive use in golf courses, athletic fields and parks. Farmers in the Chicagoland area use the biosolids to save money that would go into commercial fertilizer.
  13. 13. Visit us at: Water Wastes Digest •Site: •Twitter •Facebook Water Quality Products •Site: •Twitter Stormwater Solutions •Site: •Twitter •Facebook