5 Things You Didn’t Know About Chicago’s Water System

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Chicago waterways

Photo courtesy of ACES Illinois

As Chicago has changed, the city’s waterways have developed into a network of modified canals and rivers used for everything from recreation and aesthetics to shipping and navigation. Here are five things you might not know about Chicago’s water system:

  1. Chicago’s waterway system has protected the Lake Michigan water supply for more than 100 years.
  2. The canal system reroutes treated sewage water to the Mississippi River and tributaries.
  3. Invasive species like Asian carp are currently confined to the Mississippi River system, but pose a threat to Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes through the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. Researchers are working hard to make sure the fish is blocked from getting into the lakes.
  4. For more than 100 years, the Great Lakes and Mississippi River systems have been connected through the Illinois-Michigan Canal, Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, and the Cal-Sag Canal.
  5. The permanent reversal of the flow of the Chicago River in 1982 is internationally considered one of the seven wonders of American engineering.

Learn more about the impressive water system here.

Source: University of Illinois

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