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Turning the Big Lake into Poop Soup

By Alicia Dorr in News on Apr 17, 2006 9:58PM

You may have noticed that it rained literally all day yesterday, which just means one more example of the weather Tarp4.jpgnot cooperating in Chicago on a holiday.

What it also means, of course, is there is an underground river somewhere overflowing, and that’s never good. The Deep Tunnel system that services the entire Chicagoland area overflowed to the tune of 650 million gallons, draining into the Thornton Transitional Reservoir in Thornton—a sort of back up to the back up that is the tunnel to begin with. That's because even if the water falling from the sky is pure and clean (yeah, right) it becomes horrible and foul when it hits the streets, like medieval times when people used urine to bathe.

But as the 1.28 inches of April showers flooded the street and the parts of the sidewalks that dip, it brought to mind a different aspect of the overflowing—dirty water and dirty beaches. The Deep Tunnel is designed to prevent the flow of water into our groundwater. And springs, and lakes. The man-made underground rivers are not completely done yet (it will be done in 2019??), nor will they be infallible. And as much fun as e. coli and other bacteria are, reports of overflows like this always make us nervous.

So, basically, it’s only April and we’re concerned over what storms and rain will do to our precious, precious beach time. Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago—we got our eye on you.

Image via Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago.