Now that condos and a Trump Tower line the banks of the Chicago River, the Windy City is finally thinking about making it less gross. It's one of America's most exploited waterways — in 1900, the city literally reversed the river’s flow to keep all the sewage it channeled from entering Lake Michigan — and the sewage of millions is dumped into it every day, untreated.
At a price of $250 million, Chicago is finally going to start treating all the waste that comes out of its pipes, which currently flows into the river and thence to the Mississippi.
The eventual goal is a river so clean that people can swim in it. If that sounds nuts, it kind of is — just ask the people who swim Manhattan's East River, although actually don’t ask them because their definition of “nuts” is clearly off — but it could have economic benefits as well as aesthetic (and olfactory) ones. Namely, the city has massive plans to develop its river-front.
h/t to clean energy go-to Adam Aston for the headline.
- Reflected glory, The Economist
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