Reports of odors, stream blockages & other environmental issues can be made on MWRD's website
In honor of Earth Month, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) has implemented a new online reporting application to collect reports of odors, stream blockages and other environmental-related issues more efficiently.
To initiate a report, the public is encouraged to visit the MWRD website at www.mwrd.org  and click on the “Report Air or Water Pollution” hot link. A short questionnaire will prompt visitors for information regarding the situation. Staff will then use the information to investigate complaints and/or plan future work throughout the county. Urgent matters should be reported to local municipalities.
“This new tool will allow residents to notify us of environmental issues countywide,” said Commissioner Kari Steele, chairman of the Committee on Information Technology. “We understand unpleasant environmental occurrences are inconvenient and disruptive, but by completing the new online report, our staff will be able to work to address them.”
The next step in the evolution of incident reporting will be the creation of a smartphone application.
“We are working to make the reporting of issues affecting our waterways as easy as possible,” said Chairman of Finance Mariyana Spyropoulos. “A smartphone app for notifying us of these instances is a logical next step.”
Another way to notify the MWRD about occurrences of water and air pollution is through a 24 hour 1.800.332.DUMP hotline.
MWRD systems dispatchers monitor both the online reporting system and hotline 24 hours per day. If a caller reports a dump or spill into a sewer or into a Chicago area waterway, the dispatcher refers the call to the MWRD’s Industrial Waste Division and a pollution control officer launches an investigation.
The officers strive to complete their investigation within five business days. Some cases may be open longer due to the nature of the event and the involvement of other agencies. Depending upon the circumstances, services may be needed from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or the U.S. Coast Guard.
“The MWRD’s pollution control officers have greatly reduced occurrences of dumping and have worked hard to assure that chemical wastes are disposed of in an environmentally-responsible way and in compliance with federal, state and local laws,” Steele said.