The MWRD is located primarily within the boundaries of Cook County, Illinois. We serve an area of 883 square miles which includes the City of Chicago and 125 suburban communities, including 5.25 million people plus a commercial and industrial equivalent of 4.5 million people. The MWRD's 554 miles of intercepting sewers and force mains range in size from 12 inches to 27 feet in diameter, and are fed by approximately 10,000 local sewer system connections.
The MWRD’s Tunnel and Reservoir Project (TARP) is one of the country’s largest public works projects for pollution and flood control. Four tunnel systems total 109 miles of tunnels, 9 to 33 feet in diameter and 150 to 300 feet underground. One reservoir is in operation and construction is in progress on the two remaining reservoirs.
The MWRD owns and operates one of the world’s largest water reclamation plants, in addition to six other plants and 23 pumping stations. The MWRD treats an average of 1.4 billion gallons of wastewater each day. The MWRD's total wastewater treatment capacity is over 2.0 billion gallons per day.
The MWRD controls 76.1 miles of navigable waterways, which are part of the inland waterway system connecting the Great Lakes with the Gulf of Mexico. It also owns and operates 30 stormwater detention reservoirs to provide regional stormwater flood damage reduction. The MWRD owns approximately 9,500 acres of property in Cook County for its operations.
MWRD recycles all biosolids in land application programs in northeast Illinois.