Amid a public health crisis, Chicago came up with a bold solution: reverse the river. Audio-narrated descriptions are available.
From the city’s earliest days, Chicago residents and businesses alike dumped their waste directly into the Chicago River, which flowed into Lake Michigan, contaminating the city’s drinking water and causing widespread disease and death. This film explores the various attempts to combat the problem and save the city, and one bold solution: reversing the flow of the river away from the lake. Audio-narrated descriptions are available.
In the 19th century, the water in the Chicago River and Lake Michigan amounted to a public health crisis.
On January 2, 1900, Chicago reversed its river, and the positive changes in the health of the water were soon evident.
Environmental groups discuss the health of the Chicago River today.
Enjoy a couple of minutes of peace and fly with a drone that follows the Main Branch and South Branch of the Chicago River.