Reference Materials

Environmental Protection Agency

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) developed water quality guidelines for the discharge of urban drainage into surface waterways and also developed the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit the program to identify and regulate such drainage sources. Reference materials concerning the NPDES permit program, as well as information concerning combined sewer overflow guidelines, can be found on the U.S. EPA website.

Combined Sewer Overflows Monitoring Program

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) maintains a network of flow-monitoring devices throughout the Chicago area to detect and automatically report the occurrence of combined sewer overflows (CSO). View reference materials concerning the CSO monitoring program. The current status of overflow activity within the region can be found on the website as well.

Tunnel and Reservoir Plan

The MWRD also developed a regional plan for the construction of a unique and highly effective collection and treatment system in order to prevent or reduce CSO discharges into the regions' waterways. The Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP) is comprised of a network of deep tunnels, connecting structures, and pumping equipment that is designed to intercept the polluted combined sewer wet weather flow and convey it to regional treatment plants for processing before being released to surface waterways. Reference information concerning this system can be found on the MWRD website.