The Monuments of the Millennium are international or national projects that represent broad categories of achievements. The Monuments, chosen in early 2000 by a distinguished panel of civil engineers, demonstrate a combination of technical engineering achievement, courage and inspiration, and a dramatic influence on the development of the communities in which they’re located.
Chicago was awarded one of these awards for their Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago’s Wastewater System. The award is located along the Chicago Riverwalk near the Chicago Marine and Safety Station.
Inscribed on the monument:
The ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) awarded only ten such awards worldwide, each represented the most outstanding example of civil engineering in a particular area over the past century.
Created in 1889, the District built canals that reversed the flow of Chicago River away from Lake Michigan protecting public drinking water supply and eliminating waterborne diseases prevelant at the time. The District later built wastewater treatment plants to collect and treat all the wastewater in the area.
The District has continued with new technology and foresight in construction of Tunnel and Reservoir Plan [TARP], for the capture of combined sewer overflows that would otherwise discharge to the inland waterways and the Sidestream Elevated Pool Aeration [SEPA] stations to add more oxygen to the waterways. These and other innovations of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago proudly continues the commitment to protect Lake Michigan and the inland waterways
One of the finest examples of how civil engineering ingenuity shaped the development of society’s quality of life in the 20th century. Designated: September 19, 2001