Chicago's TARP Challenge—8 Million Tons of Rock

by William C. Paschen, Paschen Contractors Inc, Chicago, IL, USA,
Daniel F. Meyer, Paschen Contractors Inc, Chicago, IL, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Tunneling Operations and Equipment


The Metropolitan Sanitary District of Greater Chicago (MSDGC) serves 122 municipalities covering 866 square miles in Cook County, Illinois. Of these cities, towns and villages, 53 have combined sewer systems. On an average of once every 4 days, these systems overflow about 4 million gallons of combined sewage and rainwater into the area's rivers and canals. To enable its member municipalities to come into compliance with State and Federal law, the MSDGC is implementing its Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP). TARP is a regional solution to the problem of combined sewer overflow in the metropolitan Chicago area. TARP will greatly reduce the pollution of area waterways by intercepting the combined sewage and rainwater carried in the existing systems and diverting that flow into deep rock tunnels. The tunnels will carry the flow to reservoirs, where it will be held until it can be pumped to sewage treatment plants for purification and final discharge into the waterways. When completed, the program also will greatly reduce flooding in the combined sewer areas.

Subject Headings: Sewage | Rocks | Urban areas | Local government | Rain water | Reservoirs | Sanitary engineering | Systems engineering | Chicago | Illinois | United States

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