Watch CBS News

VIDEO: Thornton Reservoir Filled With 400 Million Gallons Of Storm Water

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A momentous occasion almost went unnoticed after steady rains in the Chicago area last week.

A total of 400 million gallons of raw sewage and rainwater spilled for the first time ever into the Thornton Reservoir last week.

If it hadn't ended up there, Deep Tunnel civil engineer Kevin Fitzpatrick says the storm water would have ended up where it has in the past--area waterways like the Calumet River and the Cal-Sag Channel and many people's basements.

"It will definitely keep pollution out of there. We hope to continue to see resurgence of the water quality in these waterways as we've been noticing over these last few decades and hope quite a few more fish species come back," he said.


Deep Tunnel civil engineer Kevin Fitzpatrick says the rainwater and sewage combo in the reservoir is slowly draining towards a reclamation plant where it is being cleaned.

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District says the Thornton Reservoir filled to a depth of 17 feet as a result of last week's rain but that left the reservoir only 5 percent full.

The reservoir's capacity is nearly 8 billion gallons of raw sewage and rainwater.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.