For a limited time, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) is offering free tours of its Mainstream Pumping Station and McCook Reservoir this summer and fall. The tours will give visitors a complete overview of the Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP) system and how it functions to improve local water quality and mitigate flooding throughout Cook County.
McCook Reservoir is scheduled to be completed in late 2017. It will be the last and largest of three reservoirs being constructed as part of TARP.
Tours are offered:
- August 6
- August 27
- September 17
- September 24
- October 1
- October 15
All tours start at 9am and are expected to last 2 hours. All ages are welcome. Wear sturdy shoes and note that shorts, dresses, sandals, and high heels are not allowed.
Tours will include a tour of the pumping station, followed by a bus ride to McCook Reservoir overlook.
MWRD will also offer free tree saplings, compost, photo booth and TARP rock at these events.
Parking is free at the Mainstream Pumping Station (6100 River Road, Hodgkins, IL).
Call 312-751-6632 to reserve your space on one of these tours. All attendees must RSVP.
As part of their ‘Infrastructure Week,’ Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is opening up six of its water reclamation plants (WRP) for free open houses and tours on May 20, 2017.
Visitors can tour any of the following plants:
- Calumet WRP, 400 E. 130th St., Chicago
- Egan WRP, 550 S. Meacham Rd., Schaumburg
- Hanover Park WRP, 1220 Sycamore Av., Hanover Park
- Kirie WRP, 701 Oakton St., Des Plaines
- O’Brien WRP, 3500 Howard St., Skokie
- Stickney WRP, 6001 W. Pershing Rd., Cicero
MWRD will also be giving away free trees and compost, while supplies last. All ages welcome. No open-toed shoes.
More information can be found on MWRD’s Facebook page.
Chicago’s new water tax is officially in effect. Starting with the March 2017 bill, all residents and businesses in Chicago will see a new water-sewer tax charge on their monthly utility bill.
Chicago’s water-sewer taxes approved
for the next 4 years:
- 2017: $0.59/1000 gallons
- 2018: $1.28/1000 gallons
- 2019: $2.01/1000 gallons
- 2020: $2.51/1000 gallons
This tax is in addition to the water/sewer fees that Chicagoans
already pay and is expected to help pay for part of Chicago’s
EPA’s WaterSense website lists some easy ways to reduce water usage:
- Replace older toilets with a WaterSense labeled toilet:
WaterSense toilets use only 1.28 gallons per flush or
less. Standard toilets use 1.6 gallons per flush. Older
toilets can use as much as 3.5 to 7 gallons per flush.
- Replace showerheads with WaterSense labeled models:
WaterSense showerheads use 2.0 gallons of water per
minute or less. Standard faucets use 2.5 gallons of
water or more.
- Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or shaving:
A bathroom faucet generally runs at 2 gallons per
minute. Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth or
shaving can save a person more than 200 gallons per
- Replace older washing machines with a high-efficiency model:
High-efficiency washing machines use less than 27
gallons per load. Standard models can use up to 54
gallons per load.
Gabriel can also help commercial and industrial facilities assess their water usage to determine if any water savings may be achieved. Contact our Water Department at 773-486-2123 or water[at]gabenv.com to discuss Gabriel’s water saving audits.
More information about the water tax can be found on the City of Chicago’s Finance webpage.
There’s still a few days to enjoy the Chicago Flower & Garden Show at Navy Pier. From March 18th – 26th, enjoy life-sized gardens, how-to workshops, and instructional seminars at this annual event.
This year’s show features:
- 20 Feature Gardens
- Garden Gourmet Cooking and Gardening Live Presentations
- Potting Parties and Planting Fun
- Kids Activity Garden
- CARBA Cake Decorating Competition
- Home & Garden Marketplace
The 2017 theme “Chicago’s Blooming” will spotlight all that is wonderful about Chicago’s unique neighborhoods and urban green spaces.
All large-commercial industrial and tax-exempt users must submit their RD-925 User Charge Annual Certified Statement by February 2st, 2017. Fines and penalties are assessed for late filings.
This year’s submission includes updated forms and worksheets. Additionally, MWRD will be emailing all facility contacts with sampling data if MWRD sampled your facility during 2016.
If you have any questions about the RD-925 statement or need Gabriel to complete your forms, contact Antonio Tabacchi or Tim Mazurek at 773-486-2123 or waterdept[at]gabenv.com.
Each year, facilities with hazardous chemicals on hand must submit Tier II (Community Right-to-Know) forms by March 1st for the previous calendar year. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) requires submission electronically using their Tier II Manager program. Printed copies must also be submitted to the facility’s Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) and fire department.
Submission of Tier II form is required under Section 312 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA). The purpose of this form is to provide State, local officials, and the public with specific information on potential hazards. This includes the locations, as well as the amount, of hazardous chemicals present at your facility during the previous calendar year.
Tier II reports must include:
- Details of the types and quantities of chemicals stored on site, above reporting thresholds. Most chemicals have a minimum reporting threshold of 10,000 pounds. Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHSs) must be reported above 1 – 500 pounds, depending on the substance. Any quantity of phosphorus, for example, must be reported on the Tier II forms.
- Type and location of storage container
- A detailed site plan that meets minimum mapping requirements
- Electronic Safety Data Sheets (SDSs)
- Emergency contact information
If you need assistance completing your facility’s Tier II report, contact Gabriel’s Consulting Department at 773-486-2123 or WaterDept[at]gabenv.com.
Gabriel will be closed at noon on Friday, December 23rd and all day Monday, December 26th.
Gabriel will also be closed at noon on Friday, December 30th and all day Monday, January 2nd.
Happy holidays from Gabriel!
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is coming up on October 22, 2016. This U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) initiative aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.
Prescription drugs that are flushed down the drain or trashed in a landfill ultimately end up polluting the nation’s waterways. Water treatment systems are not equipped to remove medications and chemicals, so rivers, streams, and drinking water supplies can be affected.
To locate a collection site near you, visit the DEA’s National Take-Back day website:
Join Air & Waste Management Association – Lake Michigan States Section (A&WMA) for its annual Air Quality Management Conference on October 5, 2016.
- New Direction for Industry in Illinois – Alec Messina, Director, Illinois EPA
- EPA Region 5 Priorities – Robert Kaplan, Action Regional Director, US EPA, Region 5
- Ozone SIP Strategies
- Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) changes
- Air Policy and Program Compliance Priorities for 2016
- Emissions Testing – Common Pitfalls
- Meeting the PSD Permit Modeling Requirements
- Non-Attainment NSR – Offsets: Supply & Demand
Learn more and register on the A&WMA website: www.lmawma.org