Tuesday, May 11, 2010
The reversal of the Chicago River
While cruising on Chicago river, the guide makes an interesting reference to a great innovation in public works- that is reversal of river flow. There was a time Chicago river was flowing into the great Michigan lake and carrying with it all city's sewage. At one time 12% of Chicago citizens were affected with water borne diseases and how did they solve it? They did do so by constructing canals to make the Chicago River flow backwards, away from the lake. The system of three canals was built from 1892 to 1922, The Sanitary and Ship Canal reversed the flow in the Chicago River toward the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico, diverting sewage away from the Lake Michigan water supply.
source: Top ten public works