Waste Water Dumped into the Chicago River

Chicago River and Willis Tower

More than 1.2 billion gallons of partially treated waste water goes into the Chicago River each day. This infographic from Angel Water Conditioning, Inc. really brings that home.

In 2010, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago conducted a study to determine the environmental effects of treating the city’s sewage before dumping it in the river. The claim was that adding disinfection would increase the carbon footprint of the utilities.


The Chicago River winds through the city of Chicago for 156 miles before heading out to the Mississippi River basin. Pollutants that go into the Chicago River end up in the waters of much of the nation before finally reaching the Gulf of Mexico and, perhaps, contributing to the dead zone there.

Waste Dumped in the Chicago River Infographic

Chicago River and Willis Tower photo via Shutterstock

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Author: Heather Carr

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