Chicago Water System: Opportunities and Challenge of Lake Michigan

by Richard A. Pavia, (F.ASCE), Commissioner; Dept. of Water and Sewers, Chicago, Ill.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Water Resources Planning and Management Division, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 2, Pg. 371-375

Document Type: Journal Paper


As regions and localities all over the world are being faced with the growing problem of water shortages, Chicago is fortunate to have Lake Michigan, an excellent source of supply that can be readily treated to a high-quality finished product. Chicago's vast water system presently serves a population of approximately 4,600,000 people in Chicago and 74 neighboring suburban communities and operates the world's two largest water purification plants. Eleven pumping stations located throughout the City pump over 374.7 billion gallons (1,423,860,000m³) of water a year. The system comprises 4,160 miles (6,697.6km) of water mains and 65 miles (104.65km) of water-supply tunnels. Water-intake cribs constructed off the shores of Lake Michigan supply the purification plants with raw water for processing.

Subject Headings: Water treatment plants | Water shortage | Lakes | Pumping stations | Suburbs | Municipal water | Pumps | Tunnels | Chicago | Illinois | United States | Lake Michigan | Great Lakes

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