Apr 24, 2012

U.S. State Department Program Participants Tour MWRD in Chicago

International delegation learned about water and wastewater treatment in the city

High-ranking water resource officials from Mexico, Uzbekistan, Hong Kong and Finland learned about the Met­ropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago’s (MWRD’s) state-of-the-art water reclamation systems and toured the MWRD’s control center in the downtown Chicago office earlier this month.

Gloria Angelica Ayala, Mexico, Dr. Madina Khalmirzaeva, Republic of Uzbekistan, Vincent Shing Cheung, Hong Kong Water Supplies Department, and Jari Koskiaho, Finnish Environment Institute in Helsinki, were guests of WorldChicago and the U.S. Department of State. The group was in the country to learn about the issues and challenges of protecting drinking water resources (Lake Michigan) while protecting businesses and homes from flood damage. They were particularly interested in learning how the MWRD collects and treats wastewater and storm water for five million people.

“What you do on a daily basis to protect your drinking water is really remarkable,” said Ayala. “We are very inter­ested in learning more so we can adapt some of your technologies back home.” MWRD Executive Director David St. Pierre explained how the treatment system operates. He also discussed the growing role of green infrastructure to minimize the effects of storm water by allowing it to be absorbed into the ground instead of flowing into the sewer system.