Sunday, January 24, 2016

January 24, 1913 -- Bubbly Creek Agreement Is Reached

January 24, 1913 -- At a joint meeting of Chicago Sanitary District officials, aldermen, and representatives of the meat packing companies on the southwest side of the city, agreement was reached to discontinue the use of Bubbly Creek as a drain for the sewage of the stockyards. The attorney for the district said, "The policy of the district always has been that the disposal of the industrial waste in the yards is an individual one for industries there. They can't have their waste discharged into Bubbly creek and from there into the Chicago river or into the canal." It was, of course, too little and too late. The damage had already been done. The unfortunate body of water begins at what once was the northern boundary of the massive Union Stockyards just north of Pershing Road about halfway between Ashland and Racine and flowed north into the Chicago River. According to a 2011 article in The Chicago Tribune when scientists studied the waterway in 2004 they found "fibrous material" on the river bottom up to three feet thick. You can define "fibrous material" any way you want, but however you define it, it ain't good. It's still there, and it's still a-bubbling.

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