Flooding in Chicago on July 6, 2023. (WTTW News)

The entire city was drenched with torrential rain earlier this week, but residents on the West Side were hit especially hard as more than 8 inches of rain fell in the Austin community and nearby suburbs.

Flooding is captured in Chicago on July 2, 2023, in Chicago. (Paris Schutz / WTTW News)

As much as 8 inches fell in certain areas over the weekend, followed by major flooding. Areas on the city’s West Side and western suburbs saw over 8 inches on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

Every time you flush, the waste disappears in a swirly whirl, never to be seen again. It’s magic! Actually, it’s science and engineering. WTTW News Explains. 

(WTTW News)

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District treats stormwater and wastewater for more than 5 million people in Cook County. One of the methods to treat that water is a surprising way to reuse a byproduct from the creation of a very popular beverage: locally brewed beer.

A polling place on the North Side of Chicago is pictured on Nov. 8, 2022. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

With just one incumbent on the ballot and four seats up for grabs, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Board of Commissioners is guaranteed to welcome a raft of new faces once votes are tallied Tuesday night.

Fish species diversity has been increasing in the Chicago River. (Shedd Aquarium)

Back in the 1980s, the number of fish species found in the Chicago River could be counted on a single hand. Today, that number is up to 60 species, an increase in diversity that can be directly attributed to a decrease in wastewater pollutants, according to a new study from the Shedd Aquarium.

(WTTW News)

A University of Illinois Chicago lab and its partners have been tracking the virus that causes coronavirus in wastewater and sharing the data with local public health agencies. 

Repairs are just getting underway on a stretch of lakefront damaged by a storm in January 2020. (Courtesy of Metropolitan Water Reclamation District)

The repair, expected to take six weeks, will consist of piling 1,500 tons of rocks along the shoreline and building a concrete wall to guard against further erosion.

Heavy rains can overwhelm Chicago's sewer system. (Roman Grac / Pixabay)

The past few springs, Chicago has notched record-breaking rainfall totals. All that water has to go somewhere, and when it overwhelms the city’s sewers, untreated wastewater winds up in the Chicago River.

(Rudy and Peter Skitterians / Pixabay)

The second annual event offers simple ways to conserve water in advance of World Water Day.

With temperatures soaring above freezing in Chicago, the “big melt” is well underway. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Postponing activities like laundry, running the dishwasher or even showering will provide maximum capacity in the sewers for snow melt.

(Courtesy: Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago)

When it comes to designing buildings, form may follow function, but that doesn’t mean function has to be without form. Geoffrey Baer joins us with the story of the O’Brien Water Reclamation Plant and other ornamented utility buildings. 

A section of the MWRD's Deep Tunnel. (Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago / Facebook)

An upcoming virtual tour will offer insights into the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District’s inner workings and will revisit the reversal of the Chicago River. 

A bighead carp, a type of Asian carp, caught in the Illinois River, the principal tributary of the Mississippi River. There are no North American fish large enough to eat Asian carp, according to the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee. (Photo courtesy U.S. Geological Survey)

Efforts to increase demand for Asian carp as a food are aimed at buying time for development of a long-term solution to the threat posed by the invasive fish.

Goats and sheep on the job at MWRD's Calumet plant. (Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago / Facebook)

A herd of 65 sheep and goats replaced more traditional mowing equipment this summer at MWRD’s Calumet Water Reclamation Plant, where the animals helped maintain the native prairie landscape. 

What’s so special about this fish? It’s all about the little yellow tag. (Metropolitan Water Reclamation District)

A largemouth bass fished from the Skokie River provided proof of the success of a 2018 dam removal on the Chicago River.