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Published on Dec 1, 2015
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago’s (MWRD’s) Thornton Composite Reservoir is online and recently took on water for the first time. A stormy Thanksgiving holiday resulted in 400 million gallons of combined sewage and stormwater flowing into the reservoir where the water level reached 17 feet. Though this is a lot of water, it's only five percent of the reservoir's 7.9 billion gallon capacity. The water will remain in the reservoir until it is pumped up to the MWRD's Calumet Water Reclamation Plant to be cleaned.
A major part of the Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP, or “Deep Tunnel”), the Thornton Composite Reservoir provides flood protection benefits for 556,000 people in 14 communities throughout the south side of Chicago and south suburbs. It also protects 182,000 homes, businesses and other facilities and improves water quality in the Calumet Rivers and Calumet-Sag Channel by preventing combined sewer overflows.