- December 4, 2012
The Firm congratulates colleague Patrick D. Thompson on his recent election victory. He joins the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) as one of three newly elected commissioners.
The MWRD has both a storied past and important future. Known originally as the Chicago Sanitary District, it was created in 1889 to solve the region’s serious public health issues spread by water-borne diseases like cholera and typhoid and has continued to evolve to focus on treating wastewater, managing stormwater, and protecting homes and businesses from flood damage.
Especially important to the District’s past was the great engineering accomplishment that it undertook, the reversal of the Chicago River, in 1900.
Given the scarcity of water in parts of the United States and around the world compared to the relative abundance of water in our area, the MWRD will play an important role in the management of this vital resource as we look to the future.
“I believe that water will be to this century what oil was to the last,” says Thompson. “Together, the Great Lakes hold 18% of all the fresh surface water on earth. For this reason, protecting this vital resource is and will continue to be a critical issue for the Great Lakes Basin. I am thrilled to be in a position to make an impact on this issue as a MWRD Commissioner.”
The District serves 883 square miles which includes the City of Chicago and 125 suburban communities. The MWRD treats an average of 1.4 billion gallons of wastewater every day. It also owns and operates the largest wastewater treatment plant in the world.