Monday, February 8, 2016

February 8, 1900 -- River Sewage Threatens Chicago's Drinking Water

February 8, 1900 -- For the first time since the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal was opened in January the Chicago River reversed its westerly flow and headed into the lake. By evening a severe storm out of the southwest had flushed the sewers and washed the streets, sending the sewage in the water more than a mile into the lake, threatening the cribs that supplied drinking water to the city. The Chicago Daily Tribune reported, "The stream, which has been almost as blue as the lake, turned back to its old dingy black. The stopping of the current was bad enough with this burden of sewage thrust upon the channel, but the trouble was increased further by the wind, which blew a gale from the southwest and lowered the water in the main river over a foot. This caused a slight flow lake ward, and when the black water reached the piers the wind wafted it toward the cribs." It was another day in Chicago when it was safer to drink the whiskey than to trust the water.


Richard C. Lambert said...

Chicago when it was safer to drink the whiskey than to trust the water. read more

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