Delegation of Australian engineers visit MWRD to learn about public works
A delegation of Australian engineers recently visited the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago as part of the agency's efforts to learn best management practices in improving the region's water quality, recovering renewable resources and addressing stormwater.
Sept. 23, 2015 -- A delegation of Australian engineers recently visited the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) of Greater Chicago as part of the agency's efforts to share its meaningful work beyond international borders and learn best management practices in improving the region's water quality, recovering renewable resources and addressing stormwater.
The visit, facilitated by the International Affairs Committee for the Chicago chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA), brought together a group of veteran engineers from the state of Victoria, Australia, taking part in a six-city tour of the United States. The engineers were chosen to attend as part of an Australian scholarship program.
The MWRD presentation to the Australian team covered the District's history; information on MWRD intercepting sewers and treatment plants; the Chicago Area Waterway System; industrial waste ordinances; the role of the District as regulator and regulated entity and the transition from regulator of industries and their wastes to partnering with industries in byproduct resource recovery; and ongoing work on the Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP) or "Deep Tunnel," and current resource recovery and biogas projects.
"We welcome public works experts from across the globe to take a closer look at the work we are completing at the District. [TARP] is one of the largest civil engineering projects in the world, and the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant is the largest water treatment facility," said MWRD President Mariyana Spyropoulos. "Sharing our knowledge can help transform water quality in other parts of the world and help us gain new perspectives from as far as Australia. But you don't have to travel that far to make a tour of one of our facilities. Residents from our own backyard in Cook County are encouraged to learn more about our work at the District, tour our facilities and see how it affects ... daily lives."
The public works officials from Australia chose the MWRD out of 14 different area agencies because they said they were interested in learning how the District works on a regional level with various governments while also addressing critical issues, such as sustainability, resource recovery, green infrastructure, and asset management.